Ludlow MP Philip Dunne has shown his support for British farming at Back British Farming Day in Westminster, recognising the crucial role farmers play in producing food and caring for the countryside.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with a Back British Farming wheat-pin badge to display their support for the sector on the day DEFRA published the Agriculture Bill as part of its response to Brexit negotiations and the transition to a new system of support once the UK has left the EU.
Farming is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – food and drink – which contributes over £110 billion to the economy and employs 3.8 million people. More than a fifth of all businesses registered for PAYE or VAT in Shropshire are defined as agricultural.
Mr Dunne said: “I am pleased to Back British Farming and stand up for farming in Westminster. Farming plays a crucial role in the South Shropshire economy, as well as stewardship of our countryside.
Brexit could introduce significant change for farming, through changes to subsidies or market conditions and access. So as we prepare to Leave the European Union next year, it is important decisions taken in Parliament reflect the importance of farming, to support food production and rural economic opportunity.
As a farmer myself I shall be taking a keen interest in the Agriculture Bill as it progresses through Parliament this autumn. I am arranging a meeting with the NFU of local farmers in South Shropshire to listen to their concerns before the Second Reading debate when the House of Commons returns in October.”