Call for clear support for farmers after Brexit vote

Julie P�rksen at Gallows Hill Farm, Cambo.
Julie P�rksen at Gallows Hill Farm, Cambo.

A Northumberland Lib Dem campaigner has welcomed a Lords debate which discussed the impact of Brexit on farming and has joined calls for ongoing support for farmers.

During the debate in the House of Lords, Baroness Kate Parminter, Liberal Democrat Defra spokeswoman expressed the Liberal Democrats’ ongoing support for farmers after the referendum, saying: “The most vulnerable are the livestock farmers, particularly in upland areas, and those on low incomes. They must be uppermost in our mind at this time.

She added: “My party believes that farmers deserve public support and subsidy for delivering a public good; both feeding us healthy food at a time of growing food insecurity and delivering environmental benefits.”

Northumberland Lib Dem, Julie Pörksen, who is a farmer’s daughter and agricultural economist, said: “It was heartening to see the commitment in the House of Lords and among the Liberal Democrats to supporting our farmers.

“Speaking to farmers, some express great concern on the viability of both their existing business and planned investments should the existing support mechanisms stop on leaving the EU.

“There is also disappointment that Defra appears not to plan on reducing its bureaucracy, even though much of it is initiated by Defra and not a requirement of EU membership.

“I encourage farmers to put direct pressure on the Government to ensure a viable future for British farming, or our economy, tourism, communities and services will really be at risk in rural Northumberland.”