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Leadsom vows to protect food trade with EU

Addressing the National Farmers' Union conference, the Defra Secretary laid out the five principles she thinks should frame food and farming post-Brexit, and vowed both to protect food trade with the EU and pursue deals with other partners.

In her keynote speech to the 2017 National Farmers Union conference, Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom laid out five principles to guide the British food and farming sector, as it adapts to the 'great opportunity' presented by Brexit.
 
But first she acknowledged the importance of the EU in the British food economy. On one hand, 86,000 farmers are eligible for EU payments, and for some the payments make up 70% of their income. On the other, 60% of exports go direct to the EU, and four out of five of the biggest markets are there. The Secretary said these markets were secure: 'The EU is our most important trading partner, a fact that won’t change when we leave, and a relationship we are determined to uphold.'
 
Unsurprisingly, therefore, Trade was the first of the five principles she mentioned. The others were Productivity and innovation; the environment;  animal and plant health and welfare; and resilience.
 
Read the full speech here.
 
Sustain campaigns for as greener, healthier and fairer food system. Read more about our work here.

Published 24 Feb 2017

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