Farming industry sacrificed by Brexit ideology and incompetence – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Mike Baldwin, Raven Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield.

Is Brexit having a detrimental impact on Britain's food, fishing and farming industries?
Is Brexit having a detrimental impact on Britain's food, fishing and farming industries?

IN March 2020, senior advisor to Rishi Sunak, Dr Tim Leunig, said: “The food sector isn’t critically important to the UK, and the ag(riculture) and fish production certainly isn’t.”

We now see the result of this ideological free market policy.

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The Food and Drink Federation has reported that exports to the EU had fallen by 24 per cent in the first nine months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2019, prior to the pandemic and Brexit, with beef and cheese being particularly hit.

Is Brexit having a detrimental impact on Britain's food, fishing and farming industries?

They highlight the effects of trade barriers following the Brexit agreement. The fishing industry has also suffered from the Brexit deal which, for their sector, they described as ‘‘minuscule, marginal, paltry, pathetic’’.

The strict immigration policy has left the farming and food processing industry with a critical shortage of labour.

Fruit and vegetables have been left to rot in the fields, the latest example being the daffodil harvest where as much as 80 per cent may be lost.

The shortage of butchers no longer allowed to work here from the EU has already led to over 30,000 pigs being tragically culled and disposed of.

The Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Tory MP and part-time farmer Neil Parish, has said: “We are seeing our industry slowly being destroyed.”

The trade deal with Australia was announced the day after the North Shropshire by-election, obviously so as not to lose 
more votes in the rural constituency.

The NFU has already said that the deal ‘‘will jeopardise our own farming industry and could cause the demise of many, many beef and sheep farms throughout the UK’’.

This has been confirmed by the Department for International Trade’s own assessment of the deal, drawn up under Liz Truss before she became Foreign Secretary, which warned that the agriculture sector is ‘‘expected...to contract’’ due to the deal.

This is happening when we are likely to be importing meat with growth hormones and antibiotics, and produce with pesticides not allowed here.

Environmentally it cannot 
be sustainable to import 
produce from 10,000 miles 
away when higher standard produce is available locally, and in doing so we destroy our own industry.

Sadly, we can only conclude that the farming sector is being sacrificed to a combination of ideological free trade policies, disregard and simply sheer incompetence.

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