Friday, 26 March 2021

"We've put you through a fair pasting today" - MP Neil Parrish to Defra's boss, MP George Eustice.

 Seafood and Meat Exports to the EU commons committee hearing.

This morning's Environment,Food and Rural Affairs committee hearing completed with MP Neil Parrish making it very clear that the UK should be doing more in its battles over trade with the EU while at the same time having George Eustice point out that as we are no longer a member of the EU we have no influence on how they decide to deal with a third par country like the UK.

"Because it's a heritage fishery it is dominated by people who fish part-time " -Can't imagine the Falmouth and Helford oyster guys appreciate being referred to as 'part-timers'!

On the bright side, the vast majority of the exchanges were focused on the travails of the fishing industry. With a welcome parting shot from Owen Patterson asking the Secretary of State if he would make the current tax relief far more attractive to boat owners to go for a new build which in turn might just bring a welcome boost to UK boat building yards, especially as many (but not all) are in the North!

Listen to the audio version of the meeting here.

Witness(es): George Eustice, Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs;
David Kennedy, Director General Farming and Biosecurity, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Ian Hewett, Operations Director, Animal and Plant Health Agency