General Election 2019: Derek Thomas on Fishing and Farming

Boris Johnson’s deal gets us out of the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy, a policy that has inflicted huge damage on our fishing fleet.

It will be up to the UK to decide what fish is caught, who catches it and where it is landed as we end unfair fishing quotas and breathe new life into our coastal fishing communities such as Newlyn where more than £20 million of fish is landed every year in an industry worth almost £100 million to the Cornish economy.

The farming sector in West Cornwall can also look forward with confidence as financial support moves away from the size of the farm towards environmental land management under the UK Agriculture Policy; a recent NFU report has shown how the UK agri-sector can achieve net zero emissions through measures such as increasing woodland and hedgerows, maximising the use of smart technology and introducing crops like hemp. On land not suitable for food production Rewilding Britain states that 6 million hectares of ‘recovered nature’ would absorb 10% of harmful emissions.

This will present some exciting opportunities for farmers in West Cornwall to diversify and enhance our beautiful natural environment but support from Government is vital and I will continue to stress to Ministers the importance of giving farmers the help they need to make the necessary changes.