Cost Increases: Food Producers and Consumers

Part of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at on 8 September 2022.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee, Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons, Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Thank you ever so much, Mr Speaker. It feels like business questions. I thought I was getting away from the right hon. Gentleman, but there is seemingly no escape. May I welcome him to his new role and congratulate the new Secretary of State? I know they have a huge inbox—they do not have to seek problems. As we have heard, there are rocketing prices for the rural economy and astronomical price rises for the consumer, and on top of that there is a fertiliser crisis, agflation in the sector and a harvest that remains unpicked because of the lack of seasonal labour. So is this the right time to pick a fight with the EU over the Northern Irish protocol, with the real risk of tariffs being introduced for the sector? Is now not the time to climb down, negotiate properly and get the best possible solution for our farmers, our producers and our consumers?