• meeting with local farmers and representatives of the National Farmers Union

    I met with local farmers and representatives of the National Farmers Union to discuss the issues and concerns of the farming community across St Helens borough.

    The Government’s lack of clarity on Brexit and Britain’s future relationship with Europe is creating massive uncertainty for farming across the country. The farming industry has important concerns about access to European markets, the future of labour supplies and the loss of EU grant funding.

    Local farmers I meet from Rainford, Windle, Billinge and across the borough, and the Lancashire NFU, also have legitimate concerns that cuts to policing and the Environment Agency are leading to increased levels of rural crime and flooding respectively.

    The Agriculture Bill going through parliament must ensure the highest standards of food safety, help farmers protect our environment and make sure food production is not undermined by lower standards and cheaper products from around the world.

    Having already worked with the local farming community and the national NFU on the use of pesticides, support for upland farmers and encouraging young people into farming, I reiterate my full support for our farmers and look forward to continuing our work together on the critical issues they raised with me.