I welcome the Bill for several reasons. First, it provides us all with an opportunity, in this increasingly urbanised media and world, to remind ourselves of the important role that farming plays, not only crucially in respect of food security but, as other Members have alluded to, in respect of landscape management, which clearly assists our tourism sector, and water quality, which clearly affects tourism in coastal areas.
The role that agriculture plays is pivotal. Part of the problem is that a lot of people glean their knowledge or experience of farming and the agricultural sector only from “Countryfile” and “The Archers”, which provide a slightly narrow picture of what it is like. They are both great programmes; they are staple listening and viewing in the Hoare house—and, indeed, where I live, as well. Sorry, I just could not resist. Nevertheless, too many people think that farmers are loaded and that the Bill is just a bung to already wealthy people. Those of us who know farmers, represent farmers and talk to them in our constituencies know that that is very far from the truth.
It is important that in times of uncertainty, as we transition from a 40-year membership of the EU to striking out on our own, we provide certainty where we can. As I said to the Minister in an intervention, arable of course needs certainty, but so too do those sectors where there are greater fluctuations, either in consumer trends, price fluctuation, weather or disease. The lamb sector, beef sector and dairy sector are the mainstays of the Blackmore Vale’s agricultural focus, while the Cranborne Chase in the east of my constituency is more chalk land—