Labour finally starting to discuss impact of Brexit and how it could damage UK farming - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Richard Wilson, chair, Leeds for Europe, Roundhay, Leeds.

A combine harvester harvesting a rapeseed field. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

IT’S encouraging that Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard highlighted the Australia trade deal’s potential to damage UK farming (The Yorkshire Post, July 10).

Encouraging, because it came only a couple of days after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer highlighted the harm Brexit is already causing in Northern Ireland.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

We’ve got used to straining to hear the Labour front bench murmuring the B-word and then saying nothing further on the matter for weeks, despite Brexit continuing to overshadow the UK as we tentatively emerge from the Covid pandemic.

So, one swallow doesn’t make summer, but two hints that there may be better things to come from the opposition party.

Labour is still doing far too little to challenge the Government on Boris Johnson’s disastrous deal and a version of Brexit that isn’t working for Britain.

Or to tell us what a Starmer government might do instead.

Still, recognition that Brexit is not going to go away and will need to be revisited by a future government is welcome.

I have in the past listed some of the many harms that Brexit is causing to almost every aspect of British life, so I am not short of material to write about. But you gave me more anyway, in the form of a front-page report that same day: Trade Secretary Liz Truss has been telling British farmers who fear being priced out of their home market by inferior – but cheaper – Aussie produce to go and seek substitute markets thousands of miles away.

Nonsensical – both economically and in terms of the detrimental impact on the climate of shipping produce further and further away.

Boris Johnson chose Brexit over many traditional Conservative Party values – such as supporting the British rural economy and small businesses.

Rich pickings then for Labour, should it wish to show a new vision which will appeal to moderate Conservative voters who have been left behind by the party which used to represent them.