NFU President meets PM Boris Johnson to call for action

Published 14 October 2020

International trade
Boris Johnson Meets with Minette Batters President of NFU_75219

NFU President Minette Batters has met Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where she stressed the need for action to safeguard British farming’s high standards in trade policy.

The Prime Minister was urged to increase the parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals, in particular strengthening the Trade and Agriculture Commission to allow MPs to have their say on how trade deals would impact British food and farming.

Minette Batters said: “It was good to have the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister today, at such an important time for British farming.

“We are at a juncture that will have ramifications for both farming and the wider public for decades to come. I made clear that the nation cares deeply about British food and the high standards it is produced to. They do not want to see it undermined by imported food that could be produced to standards that are illegal here. 

“Already, over a million people have signed our petition and tens of thousands of letters have been written to MPs on this issue. Those people want action to ensure our high standards of food production are not undercut.

“We also discussed the critical importance of getting our new agricultural policy right and the urgent clarity needed now for our fruit, veg and flowers growers about where they will get their all-important workforce from in time for the 2021 season and beyond.

“I hope to continue to have constructive discussions with the Prime Minister and his government ministers as the Agriculture Bill reaches its final stages and throughout our trade negotiations with the EU and others.”

Leader of the Labour party Sir Keir Starmer visits NFU President's farm to discuss food standards

Following a positive meeting in Parliament on Back British Farming Day, Mrs Batters then hosted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer MP and Shadow Defra Secretary Luke Pollard MP, on her farm in Wiltshire.

Minette Batters and Kier Starmer_75424

The NFU's President highlighted the importance of not undermining British farmers in future trade deals and the vital role that British farmers played during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the public fed with safe, nutritious, climate-friendly food.

Minette met with the leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey

Minette Batters, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey, Efra spokesperson Tim Farron_75425

After an initial discussion about how the Lib Dems can support farmers across England and Wales, the face-to-face meeting was followed up with a video call, in which Mrs Batters and Sir Ed chewed the fat on food standards, future Environmental Land Management scheme and the NFU’s net zero ambitions.

NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw took part in an engaging panel event at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference in Late September. Following on from the positive relationships developed at that event, Mrs Batters took part in a series of meetings with Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey MP and the party’s EFRA spokesperson Tim Farron MP.

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