Maria Caulfield MP has supported both farmers and fishermen in her constituency in the House of Commons by questioning Ministers on plans for these industries post-Brexit.
The Lewes Constituency is so diverse and widespread that it includes many fisherman on the South Coast, particularly at Newhaven, and many farmers across the countryside between its main towns and villages. Maria Caulfield looks to ensure that these vital and long standing industries are protected as the country moves towards Brexit, as both industries have been affected in different ways by the EU.
Maria first spoke on farming and the environment, stating that “Farmers in my constituency are concerned about a lack of focus on food production in agriculture policy post-Brexit. Farmers are the biggest guardians of our environment, and they can protect the environment and produce food at the same time. What support will the Minister give farmers to enable them to produce food post-Brexit?”
The Minister responded that he had been in discussion with farmers on the issue and said “I simply say that we want to change the way we farm so that it is more sustainable; not stop farming, or do work on the environment instead of farming.”
Maria than used a ‘topical’ question to speak on the UK’s independent 10 metre fishermen, who have been big losers in the EU’s common fisheries policy. Maria Caulfield said “Small UK independent under-10 metre fishermen have historically been the big losers in the common fisheries policy. My fishermen in Newhaven are disappointed to learn that, post Brexit, fishing policy meetings are being held with big quota holders. Will the Minister commit to including the small independent under-10 metre fishermen in post-Brexit fishing policy discussions?”
The Minister told the Commons that he has regular discussions with fishermen from the under 10 metre sector and that the new Under Ten Fishermens Association, meets regularly and is actively engaged in discussions about future policy.
Maria Caulfield said “Both farming and fishing are important industries in my constituency that are each facing their own distinct issues and opportunities as we leave the EU. I was pleased to be able to stand up for these industries in the House of Commons and show the Government the importance of them to constituencies like mine. I will continue to ensure that farmers and fishermen get a good deal from the EU negotiations.”