Guest Column: Leaving the EU will help make British farming even stronger

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

British farming is critical to the UK economy, providing thousands of jobs and the cornerstone of this country’s food production.

At the General Election, I stood on a manifesto which committed to prioritise a sustainable, long-term future for British farming, fishing and food industries and to guarantee the protection and advancement of environmental standards.

Leaving the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides the opportunity to fundamentally review the objectives and design of the UK’s long-term agricultural policy.

The Government proposes that a new post-CAP system should ensure public money for public good, such as enhancing the environment and investing in sustainable food production.

It has committed to maintain current levels of funding for the sector in each part of the UK until the end of this Parliament.

I believe the creation of our new British agricultural policy must be ambitious with a consensus on what modern-day farming can deliver for the economy.

It should reward environmentally sustainable practice and environmental stewardship.

A new food and farming plan should also help us grow more, buy more and sell more British food.

It must be transparent, easily accessible and cost-effective.

It should support flood mitigation through land management, encourage technological innovation and support rural communities, which are central to the economy.

Moreover, any policy must provide certainty and direction for farmers, so that they can engage in long-term planning for sustainable future prosperity.

I can assure you I will continue to stand up for our farmers and the rural economy when the Agriculture Bill is introduced later this year.