The MP for Copeland has praised Cumbria’s farming industry as the Government introduces its Agriculture Bill to the Commons.
Speaking in the chamber on the launch of the NFU’s annual Back British Farming campaign, Trudy Harrison MP encouraged the Prime Minister to commit to ensuring farmers’ “world-class” meat could still be exported after the UK leaves the EU.
It comes as the Government introduces its Agriculture Bill which will replace the current subsidy system which pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed, rather than specific public benefits.
The bill sets out how farmers and land managers will be paid for “public goods” such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.
Representing many Cumbrian and Lake District farmers in her Copeland constituency, Mrs Harrison, said: “Cumbria and The Lake District is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK and our farmers play a unique role in maintaining these beautiful landscapes.
“On Back British Farming day can my right honourable friend ensure that our Cumbrian farmers will be able to continue exporting their world class meat after we leave the European Union?”
In response, Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “When we leave the European Union, we are looking to ensure we have trade deals that enable our farmers to continue to export their very important product. But we are able, by leaving the European Union, to do something else, which is to come out of the Common Agricultural Policy and actually develop a policy in this country which is right for our farmers and not for others.”
Speaking after, Mrs Harrison, said: “Being a farmer’s granddaughter I am well aware of our county’s dependency on agriculture. We enjoy and benefit from the beautiful landscape created and maintained by farmers. Our tourism economy would be nothing without farmers – and our plates would be empty.
“Today on Back British Farming day, and the day that Rt Hon Michael Gove, environment secretary brings forward the Agriculture Bill, I am proud to be supporting Cumbrian farmers – there can be no other industry where generations of knowledge and experience are passed on.
“Farmers know their land best – I am pleased that the Agriculture Bill recognises this fact and will end the Common Agricultural Policy, opting instead for a British model which works for our farming community.”