West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton is calling on farmers to be ‘front and centre’ of Brexit negotiations and has today launched a consultation with the NFU in the region for ideas on the future of farming.
Mr Dalton said, “The West Midlands has a significant rural economy and is an agricultural powerhouse, with some of the most rural counties in England.’
Currently, the rural economy operates under the European Union’s ‘Common Agricultural Policy’ (CAP) which provides support for farming, environmental obligations and rural development, but also ensures a relatively level playing field across the EU.
Mr Dalton is joining forces with the NFU in the West Midlands to discuss farmer’s hopes and aspirations following the June referendum and is calling on farmers to make submissions to the consultation and to outline what they would like a future British Agricultural policy to look like. The consultation submissions will then be passed onto the DEFRA Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom.
Mr Dalton added, "With Britain now preparing to leave the EU it is important both to farmers, and the wider economy, that a new system of agricultural support is put in place. 40% of farm income in the UK coming from EU payments and it is therefore vital that a new system supports farming activity, provides stability to the rural economy and ensures a high level of environmental, animal welfare and wildlife protection. At the same time, we should seize the opportunity to cut out some of the unnecessary regulation the current system is riddled with.”
The Secretary of State for Agriculture, Andrea Leadsom, added, “As we prepare to leave the EU, I honestly believe we have an unique chance to design a set of policies that are tailored to the needs of the UK rather than the needs of 28 different states. To do this, it is vital we harness the knowledge and experience in regions like the West Midlands. I look forward to hearing from Daniel regarding local conclusions."