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East Anglia Future 50

Suffolk farmers highlight concerns over 'no deal' Brexit to local MPs

PUBLISHED: 15:03 28 February 2019

Suffolk National Farmers' Union (NFU) members meeting local MPs and DEFRA officials in Westminster  Picture: BRIAN FINNERTY

Suffolk National Farmers' Union (NFU) members meeting local MPs and DEFRA officials in Westminster Picture: BRIAN FINNERTY

Brian Finnerty nfu

Suffolk farmers' concerns - from the future of water abstraction licences to the risks posed by a 'no deal' Brexit - were put before MPs and government officials at a special meeting in Westminster.

Suffolk National Farmers' Union (NFU) members meeting local MPs and DEFRA officials in Westminster  Picture: BRIAN FINNERTYSuffolk National Farmers' Union (NFU) members meeting local MPs and DEFRA officials in Westminster Picture: BRIAN FINNERTY

A group of about 15 National Farmers’ Union (NFU) members, led by Suffolk county chairman Glenn Buckingham, highlighted other issues including delays to environmental stewardship scheme payments and rural crime.

The 90-minute meeting, hosted by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, included Suffolk MPs Thérèse Coffey, Sandy Martin, Jo Churchill, James Cartlidge and Peter Aldous.

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“It was a very useful meeting with some worthwhile discussion, particularly around the impact that a no deal could have on farm businesses in Suffolk and worries that farmers’ future access to water could be restricted,” said Mr Buckingham.

“We urged the MPs to support NFU-proposed amendments to the Agriculture Bill, which would put food production front and centre of future Government policies and ban imports of food produced in ways that would be illegal in this country.

“All the MPs stressed the importance of hearing from their constituents about issues of concern. At such a crucial time for food and farming, I would ask all farmers to take the time to write to their MPs to make their views known.”

Dr Poulter said: “Alongside my fellow Suffolk MPs, I was delighted to welcome a delegation of Suffolk farmers, who travelled to meet with us and to raise important industry issues.

“Although I meet regularly with farmers in my constituency, it’s always helpful to meet and talk to them collectively with my Parliamentary colleagues, to hear first-hand the challenges they face.

“I look forward to continuing to work alongside the industry to support them as best I can.”

Members were joined by NFU regional director Rachel Carrington and county adviser Charles Hesketh.

Before meeting MPs, they visited the NFU’s London office, where they were briefed by NFU external affairs adviser Scott Pepe.

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