Eye: Suffolk MP slams the way EU farming red tape is applied in the UK and on the Continent

A Suffolk MP claims UK farmers are being penalised by red tape while their Continential counterparts are failing to enforce European Union rules stringently.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter pledged to do what he could to support Suffolk’s farmers against further regulation from Brussels following a meeting at local abattoir C & K Meats in Eye, where he was joined by Vicky Ford, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England.

Dr Poulter and Mrs Ford met with local farmers and food producers and heard about their concerns regarding the way in which EU agricultural regulations are applied to farmers in other EU Member States, where they are often ignored with little sanction from the authorities in those countries.

UK farmers complain that while UK farmers adhere to some of the highest animal welfare standards, the same standards are not applied uniformly across the European Union, meaning they can be undercut by overseas produce.

Dr Poulter has held debates in Parliament to highlight the challenges facing the UK pig, poultry and dairy farmers and is campaigning for more “honest” food labelling to ensure that meat products labelled ‘British’ only come from animals born, reared and slaughtered in Britain.

Speaking after the meeting, Dr Poulter said: “Suffolk’s farmers and food producers lie at the heart of our rural communities and make an enormous contribution to our local economy.

“That is why it is vital to ensure they are properly supported and not burdened by excessive regulation arising from EU legislation.

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“During my recent meeting at C & K Meats in Eye, local farmers were also keen to stress the lack of a level playing field when it comes to enforcing EU regulations across different European countries. It is wrong that whilst our farmers in Suffolk and the East of England meet the strictest animal welfare standards and stringently implement these EU regulations, farmers in many other European countries frequently ignore them.

“I have always been strongly supportive of Suffolk’s farmers, and will continue to put pressure on the Government to ensure that they are not unfairly penalised by EU red tape and are paid a fair price for their produce from our supermarkets.’