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Immigration cap would hit farmers

October 21, 2008 12:00 AM

Tim on a quad bike on a hill farmProposals to cap the country's population would be severely damaging to the farming industry according to Shadow Secretary for State for DEFRA, Tim Farron MP.

Mr Farron issued his warning after newly appointed Immigration Minister Phil Woolas MP, admitted that the government had made critical mistakes over border control and immigration. Mr Woolas suggested that he would be prepared to introduce a cap on immigration to stop the population from reaching 70 million.

Any attempt to cap the population would have a devastating impact on the farming industry which relies heavily on seasonal workers.

As things stand, the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme is dictated by the politics of immigration, instead of the need to protect home production.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"This rather odd statement is typical of the current Labour government where the right hand has no idea what the left one is doing. I'm worried that for Labour-the farming industry is merely a passing thought.

"Farming production is currently experiencing extreme fluctuations. Any restrictions on seasonal workers could hamper farmer's attempts to keep production at steady levels.

"At a time when the Government should be helping local farmers why on earth are they are considering limiting their workforce?"