Weekly Column 08.08.18

Many of you have contacted me about the recent White Paper on the UK and the EU's future relationship and I know that there are strong feelings on this subject which I fully respect. However, on whichever side of the debate we stood two years ago, I believe we are all now united in wanting the best outcome for Staffordshire Moorlands and our country, and as both your MP and a member of the Cabinet, I am determined that we honour the result of the referendum, meaning that we leave the Single Market, we leave the Customs Union and we take back control of our laws, our money and our borders, as set out in our manifesto.  

I try to meet Moorlands farmers and food producers regularly and know that many of them have concerns about how Brexit will affect them. Our fantastic Leek and District show demonstrated Staffordshire Moorlands at its best and the Prime Minister recently set out our plans for a post-Brexit farming policy which works for farmers and food producers, while also improving the environment.

We will replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy – which awards subsidies based on the amount of land farmed – with a new system of public money for public good.

The Prime Minister has commended our hard working farmers up and down the UK, saying they deserve better than the ‘fundamentally flawed CAP system’, which is why we want to deliver a farming strategy which supports the whole industry.

This is a principled and practical Brexit deal that is in the mutual interests of the UK but it will require pragmatism from both sides. We must step up the pace of negotiations and get on to deliver a good deal that will bring greater prosperity and security to both British and European citizens.