Agriculture Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:05 pm on 10th October 2018.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 3:05 pm, 10th October 2018

I thank the hon. Lady for her intervention, but the Prime Minister has said that we have to get the right deal—that is important. I do not think that anyone here wants to go towards WTO, but we must get the right deal. I spoke to the lamb industry a few weeks ago, and, if we go to WTO for that industry—the Minister will know this because he has been told often enough—and tariffs of 14% or 15% are introduced, that would decimate the Northern Ireland lamb industry overnight, given that we export 90% of our lamb. Having said that, we need to get the right deal. Unfortunately, however, the EU keeps sticking in its heels at present, which is nonsense, especially in terms of the border of Northern Ireland, the movement of cattle and so forth, free trade within Northern Ireland, and the soft or hard border. That is all nonsense, because the situation will remain as it is and has been for many years. There is no reason to change that. No one wants to see us going towards WTO, but we must get the right deal. If the right deal is not there, we will have major problems with our industry and employment, and the sector will be decimated. We therefore have to get the right deal and I know the Minister is well aware of that.