Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


17 APR 2018

Farming System

Thank you for taking the time to email me about the impact of the UK's decision to leave the European Union on British farming.

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is reassuring:

Food and farming is a bedrock of our economy and environment, generating £112 billion a year and helping shape some of our finest habitats and landscapes. The Government has pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the parliament, expected in 2022. Structural fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before our departure will be honoured for their lifetime.
Leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) means we can do much more for our environment. In England the Government plans to move to a system of paying farmers public money for public goods: principally environmental enhancement. Bureaucracy will be minimised and application processes made easier; the system will also provide flexibility, putting more management decisions in the hands of farmers. There will be a smooth transition to this new system over a number of years to give farmers time to adapt.
The Environment Secretary has published a Command Paper and will consult widely with farmers and others. Ministers will work closely with the devolved administrations on an approach that works for the whole of the UK. In particular they are keenly aware of the importance of seasonal labour, so will work with the industry to ensure it has the right people with the right skills.
We must take the opportunity of being outside the CAP to use public money to reward environmentally-responsible land use, while maintaining and enhancing high standards of animal welfare. We will harness this opportunity and ensure that our best days as a food and farming nation lie ahead of us.

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