Farmer ‘shocked’ over MP’s stance on EU referendum

Simon Bainbridge, owner of Bainbridge Farms, is backing Farmers For In.
Simon Bainbridge, owner of Bainbridge Farms, is backing Farmers For In.

A Northumberland farmer has challenged his local MP over her anti-EU stance.

Simon Bainbridge, owner of Bainbridge Farms near Scots Gap, believes a withdrawal from the EU would spell disaster for farmers.

He was ‘shocked and disappointed’ to discover Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who represents one of the most rural constituencies in England, had backed Brexit.

The 44-year-old father-of-two, who operates an uplands sheep and cattle farming business spread across 650 hectares, has thrown his weight behind Britain Stronger In Europe’s Farmers For In campaign.

He said: “We benefit from the free trade agreement. About 40 per cent of British lamb goes to Europe and about one in five lambs eaten in France is British.

“The Leave campaigns say we will trade with countries like America, Australia and New Zealand and that we can come out of the EU and put in place a new trade agreement with these countries.

“The fact is that those countries can produce beef and lamb at a far lower cost than we can so we risk being priced out of the market.

“I was quite shocked and disappointed when I learned that Anne-Marie Trevelyan was backing calls to leave the EU.

“I went to quite a few meetings during her General Election campaign and the fact is that no-one knew she was so Eurosceptic.

“Why did she come out so early? Why didn’t she consult her constituents first?”

In her column for the Herald earlier this month, Mrs Trevelyan said: ‘We are, and always have been, a strong, outward-facing nation, perfectly capable of striking trade deals, doing business and working together with the rest of Europe and the world, without needing EU politicians to tell us to.

‘Without the constraints of EU red tape and without having to funnel huge sums of money through Brussels, we will have the capacity and resources to ensure our farmers are better supported, work up more favourable trade deals and decide our own migration policy that would enable us to welcome the brightest and best from Europe and the wider world.’