Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, has asked an urgent question in Parliament about the support which will be available for agriculture and food production as the UK prepares to exit the EU.
He asked the Paymaster General Penny Mourdant: “The end of the transition period will present both opportunities but also significant challenges for those involved in the agriculture and food production sector.
“Will my Right Honourable Friend reassure those in that sector in Penrith and The Border, Cumbria and the wider UK that sufficient provisions are in place for veterinary and certification work at borders and will she reassure farmers in sectors that may face severe challenges in tariffs, such as the sheep and beef sectors, that the Government is prepared to step in and provide support?”
She answered: “Those are two very important points that the honourable gentleman raises.
“I can give him assurances that a great deal of thought has gone into ensuring that we have supplies but also enough personnel in terms of meeting requirements on the veterinary side of things.
“And of course any sector or part of the UK that may be facing tough times. We have always stood by those sectors and those parts of the UK and we will continue to do so.”
Afterwards, Dr Hudson said: “I was grateful for the response that the Minister gave, showing that the Government is prepared for the veterinary requirements that will need to be met at borders after the transition period.
“As negotiations on the UK’s relationship with the EU post transition period enter the final straight it is vital that our agriculture and food sector do not face issues with certification work at borders or lose out due to new tariffs being introduced.
Whilst the minister committed to standing by the sheep and beef sectors, I will continue to press Government on this issue as we cannot have a situation where our farmers are disadvantaged if tariffs are applied to their produce.”