March 26, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea's former MP Tessa Munt joins farmers protest

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge's former MP Tessa Munt joined Farmers For Action in London this week to highlight rural issues in a demonstration where she was invited to speak.

The former MP met hundreds of demonstrators as coaches from all over the UK converged on London to take the farmers' message to the Prime Minister.

In her speech, she told the assembled farmers and those involved in the agricultural economy: "I'm proud to be here with you, standing up for British farmers and farming. I'm the partner of a Somerset farmer, whose business is beef and cider apples. He's not here today because he's at home, farming."

"Today is about all sorts of farming. We're all feeling the squeeze - whether milk or meat farmers, with prices low and the scourge of TB all around us. I'd like to disagree with those who want the UK to leave the EU. The EU is not perfect, but you have to be in it to change things."

"The EU supports what I call 'afternoon farmers'. All across Europe, there are men and women who have jobs: they're teachers, shop-keepers, public servants - but every day, after work they come home and work their few acres of land and tend their half-dozen or dozen cattle, sheep and goats. They describe themselves as farmers. The EU's system of subsidies supports them; and it supports us whilst we're in Europe."

She went on to say that British farming has a bright future but criticised the Government for not insisting that all public services should buy British. She also said there should be a supermarket ombudsman to prevent large retailers forcing prices for farm produce such as milk down as 'loss leaders.'

"Somerset and the West Country are dependent on farming and tourism. There are 34,000 jobs which rely on tourism in Somerset alone. When visitors come down the M5 into this wonderful county, they expect to see black and white cattle dotted across our rolling green pastures. Take away support for our farmers, and that'll go. And tourism will suffer too."


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