Victoria Atkins MP welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for leaving the EU last week - and demanded assurances that agriculture would be ‘at the centre’ of post-Brexit trade negotiations.
Ms Atkins spoke in Parliament last Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement.
Ms Atkins said to Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis: “I represent a rural constituency that has a long history, and future, of agriculture.
“Will my Right Honourable Friend assure the House that agriculture will be central in any trade negotiations, and that the high quality of food standards for which British farming is famed will be a key principle in those negotiations?”
David Davis replied: “Very simply, the answer is yes.
“We are a large market for European agriculture and food production, but they are a large market for us too, and we will keep that in mind.”
Later that day, Ms Atkins spoke again in a debate on the rural economy during which she asked fellow Tory MP, Wendy Morton, if she was pleased with Mr Davis’ pledge.
Ms Morton responded: “Absolutely yes. Agricultural support is being maintained until 2020 to provide stability while a new agricultural policy is being developed, and we are guaranteeing for their lifetimes any agri-environment schemes that are already in place or are agreed in future, even if they run beyond our departure from the EU.”