The Tenant Farmers Association has called on all Political Parties to unite around the common theme of making a success of Brexit over the length of the next Parliament.
Speaking in advance of this year’s Cornwall show, which will see the General Election play out in its opening day, TFA chief executive, George Dunn said “The General Election has been an unnecessary distraction to the important job of ensuring, for all parts of our nation, the conclusion of successful negotiations with the European Union on the UK’s exit. The TFA’s principal concern will be the impact on the agricultural sector and given the degree of consensus amongst the main political parties as seen through their manifestos, we hope that petty, Party politics will give way to statesmanship in putting together the post Brexit policy framework for agriculture in terms of public investment, international trade, regulation and access to labour.”
“We haven’t had the most erudite of General Election campaigns and it has suffered from the impact of the terrible, terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London which have understandably created focal points for debate in the last days and weeks of the campaign. However, with all the issues that we face as a country right now we need a Government of national unity to take us forward. Of course it is important that the opposition parties hold the Government to account, but this needs to be purposeful, constructive and objective,” said Mr Dunn.
“The task ahead for whoever forms the next Government after Thursday’s election is arguably bigger than any faced by previous post-war UK Governments and made more so by the fact that having joined the European Union in 1973 as one country we are now leaving it in an era of devolution which, for many sectors, including agriculture, effectively means having to deal with four separate administrations with very different political, economic and social aspirations. It becomes even more complicated when in effect the voice of the UK Government becomes conflated with an English centric perspective. At the very least we need a common UK framework, agreed collectively and collaboratively, for dealing with trade, co-operation and policy across the four parts of the United Kingdom, said Mr Dunn”.
“The TFA will be working hard to build a new consensus for a post Brexit food, farming and environmental policy bringing together the farming community, environmental organisations, consumer groups, the health agenda and with a sense of understanding of our place within the world in relation to trade, aid and development. We must have a policy framework that will last and which will not be subject to the winds of future, short-term, political change. No one organisation or political party has the ability to achieve this on its own. For such a time as this, we need cooperation, collaboration and a shared vision,” said Mr Dunn.