David Drew MP -  We must support our farmers, who have been let down by this Government

David Drew MP - We must support our farmers, who have been let down by this Government

 

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Sadly today’s parliamentary event to celebrate British farmers has been downscaled because parliament has been prorogued. But I’m still proud to support our farmers. Photo from 2018

Farming is the backbone of our rural economy, our food supply and our rural environment.

But farmers are among the many groups let down by this Government this week.

Proroguing Parliament doesn’t only mean that MPs have lost their ability to scrutinise Government on behalf of the electorate.

Key pieces of legislation such as the Agriculture Bill, as well as bills determining the future of fisheries and trade, have now been left hanging in the balance.

The future of farming is something that I have particularly focused on. Earlier this year, in my role as Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, I spent many hours in Parliament looking at the Agriculture Bill in detail.

This Bill would have determined the future of parliament over the next 30 years but, after months of delay, it has not been progressed, and farmers, who are trying to work out what to grow and which animals to keep, are left in limbo.

This week I will be writing to farmers to outline my concerns.

Of course, farmers are not alone. Our fishing industry has also been left with no certainty, and our Trade Bill is also stuck in transit. Other key issues such as animal sentience, which put animal welfare at the heart of our economy, have also been dropped. The Domestic Abuse Bill was due back in parliament last week, and has now been sidelined.

Prorogation of Parliament also means that Ministers will not now answer MPs’ written parliamentary question.
MPs have now been denied the ability to properly scrutinise any Government business - just when this is most crucial.
Our farmers, like the rest of us, deserve so much better.

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