We neglect British farming at our peril

Photo: Brett Jordan by Pexels
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After much obfuscation, Brexit has finally revealed itself to be a choice between Europe and America.

Britain suffers with over confidence and under confidence simultaneously. 

There is a repetitive theme in British culture of superciliousness – “we are better than everyone else” – which runs in parallel with a constant hankering to be like other countries.

This has ensured dramatic and destructive changes in recent times – from the Beeching railway cuts of the 1960s, to Thatcher’s de-industrialisation, endless NHS restructuring – and now Brexit.

Without doubt our destructive projects have grown in ambition.

We are now set on a course to destroy centuries of European trade – and values which have ensured a world-beating agricultural industry – in order to become America’s 51st state, beginning with ‘America First’ demanding the lowering of our food standards.

Recent polls show that between 80%-90% of people in the UK are aligned against the lowering of food and animal welfare standards. For this Government to force through these changes against the values of the majority, is reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher’s obsession with the Poll Tax – which saw the worst riots in a century.

To lose food security now – when the climate crisis threatens global food production with extreme weather events – is utterly irresponsible.

There is nothing sustainable about rewilding Britain to become a sort of ‘Jurassic Park’, by reintroducing wild animals such as lynx, boar, bison and wolves, to then offshore our food production half way across the world, in a manner which ensures further Amazon rainforest deforestation and substantial increase in food miles.

Can the British people find the energy and enthusiasm to resist being forced to eat food contaminated with hormones, pesticides and chemicals that are currently illegal in Britain?

The ‘Save British Farming’ (‘SBF’) campaign was launched recently to pressurise MPs into ensuring our food standards are protected in law, ideally in the Agriculture Bill. 

This Bill will be coming back to the Commons from the Lords with critical amendments. Every person exercised by the horror of eating American food is needed to join this campaign.

We know that the Government can be persuaded to change its mind – as has already happened with free school dinners and face masks.

SBF are rolling out their next campaign – called the ‘Board of Broken Promises’ – a poster campaign to alert the public to the threats to our world-beating food system. Farmers and members of the public will be able to order posters and banners to place in their gardens and fields, and SBF wants the entire country to be awash with banners over the summer period.

Then, moving into autumn, SBF are planning a Harvest Festival campaign, where farmers will be demonstrating in key regional centres, culminating in rallies. 

The Tories promised to uphold our food standards in their Manifesto. No one voted to decimate our food security and risk the nation’s health with poor quality food.

JOIN US BY SIGNING-UP ON OUR WEBSITE:  savebritishfarming.org; follow us on Twitter: @savebritish, Instagram: @save_british_farming, Facebook: @SaveBritishFood

Liz Webster farms in Wiltshire