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Conservative Government have knowingly chucked Cumbrian farmers under a bus - MP

July 15, 2022 11:52 AM

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has accused the Conservative Government of knowingly selling out local farmers in trade deals.

A Freedom of Information request obtained by the website POLITICO has revealed that International Trade Secretary Liz Truss was given detailed warnings by her own officials in 2020 that post-Brexit trade pacts with Australia and New Zealand would shrink the country's farming and food sectors.

Officials advised Liz Truss that an Australia deal would spark a 3.44 percent shift in employment away from the semi-processed foods sector over 15 years, making it the hardest-hit part of the U.K. economy in employment terms.

Responding to this news, the President of the National Farmers Union Minette Batters said: "It's infuriating that government ploughed on in its negotiations while, as these government department reports show, ministers knew that British agriculture was likely to be the most impacted sector, putting at risk thousands of jobs"

Meanwhile it was also announced this week that the Government will not allow Parliamentary time for MPs to debate this trade deal before it's formally ratified on July 21st.

Tim said: "Having a strong agriculture sector is so important to our country's food security and our fight against climate change.

"The Conservative Government have undermined all of this by signing trade deals that they knew would lead to farmers being put of business.

"They have knowingly chucked Cumbrian farmers under a bus and are now hiding away from the consequences.

"It's pathetic as it is disgraceful."