9th November 2016

South West MEP Ashley Fox 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.

Ashley Fox said, “The South West produces more food than Scotland, twice as much as Wales and has over 25,000 commercial agricultural holdings. It is the most rural region in England and its agricultural powerhouse.’

All of this is currently operating under the European Union’s ‘Common Agricultural Policy’ (CAP) which provides support for both farming and environmental obligations but also ensures a level playing field across the EU.

On Friday, (11th November) Mr Fox has brought farmers and those helping to negotiate Brexit together to discuss farmer’s hopes and aspirations.

Mr Fox added, "With Britain now preparing to leave the EU it is important both to farmers, and the wider economy, that a new system of support is put in place. This should include a multi-year system of support for our farmers, provide stability to the rural economy and protect our wildlife but also 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 unparrelled 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 South West. I look forward to hearing from Ashley regarding local conclusions."

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