NFU responds to General Election result

The NFU said it will start working with the new government and parliament straight away to ensure all areas of Westminster and Whitehall understand and value the importance of British food and farming.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “During the election campaign, we spoke to candidates from all parties to reiterate to them the strategic importance of our industry to the nation; one that contributes £122 billion to the UK economy, delivering jobs for almost four million people and affordable food for the entire country.

“Many of those candidates are now MPs, so we will be continuing those conversations in Westminster and inviting them out on farm so they can see first-hand the high standards British farmers are proud of and the safe, traceable food systems British people value. We, of course, will be seeking meetings with Ministers as soon as possible.”

The NFU’s election manifesto raised a number of crucial issues that the new government needs to address now, to ensure British food production has a sustainable and ambitious future.

Mrs Batters said: “Top of that list is Brexit. It’s imperative we secure a future trade deal with the EU that is as free and frictionless as possible, avoiding the damaging spectre of trading with our largest partner on WTO terms. Alongside this, our future trade policy mustn’t allow imports of food produced to standards that would be illegal to produce here.

“The UK could embark on its first trade negotiations for decades in just 50 days’ time – the government must set up a Trade and Standards Commission as a matter of urgency so that they can work with industry and stakeholders to ensure those negotiations do not allow the high standards, which are the hallmark of UK farming, to be undermined by imported food which would fail to meet our own domestic regulations and values surrounding animal welfare, environmental standards and traceability.”

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