The plight of farmers was yesterday highlighted by MP Lucy Frazer during Prime Minister’s Questions.
The South East Cambridgeshire MP, who’s promised to make agriculture a top priority, yesterday urged Prime Minister Theresa May to “confirm her government’s commitment to supporting UK farmers” once the UK leaves the European Union.
The Prime Minister responded by highlighting the “continued expansion of markets for British food around the world and the opportunity presented by Brexit to design a new approach to agricultural policy – a policy that supports UK farmers to grow and sell more of their world class products.”
According to the government’s industrial policy, the world will need 60 per cent more food by 2050. Ms Frazer says the government has undertaken to put the UK “at the forefront of the global move to high-efficiency agriculture and to grow markets for innovative farming technologies and techniques.”
Ms Frazer’s question in the Chamber follows numerous meetings with local farmers and other people and organisations involved in agriculture.
In late October she met with the National Farmers Union to discuss trespass by travellers, amongst other issues, and has since been in contact with Cambridgeshire County Council to discuss how to assist local farmers with clear-up costs from debris left by travellers.
Ms Frazer has also raised the issue repeatedly with the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Southern Area Commander of Cambridgeshire Police to see what more can be done to enforce existing laws against unlawful trespassers.
She has also been in touch with police to do more to tackle other illegal behaviour that affects local farmers, such as hare coursing and plant theft.
The MP said: “it is clear from the Government’s Industrial Strategy that farming is vital to the future of the UK’s economy and has an essential role to play in the future prosperity of the UK.
“I was pleased that the Prime Minister [yesterday] confirmed her support for UK farmers and I will continue to push for agriculture to be at the top of the Government’s agenda.
“Farming is also at the heart of South East Cambridgeshire’s many rural communities and it is a key priority for me to ensure that farmers are supported in tackling the issues that make farming difficult – whether that be trespass or hare coursing.
“To this end, I will continue to meet with local stakeholders to find effective solutions to these problems.”