Leaving the EU: Agriculture — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:21 pm on 1st February 2018.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East 3:21 pm, 1st February 2018

I think that I am right in saying that about 85% of the vets from overseas who work in this country have not been in the UK more than five years; so they would not be captured by the arrangements being put in place to enable people to apply for status to stay in the country. That is an important issue.

On the question of horticulture and healthy eating, we need to ensure that our agricultural policy not only maintains but widens access to healthy, nutritious food for everyone. Analysis by the Food Foundation, which was of course set up by a former Conservative MP, who is doing excellent work, shows that a British family of four could be spending up to £158 per year more on fruit and veg after Brexit, as a result of tariffs, inflation and increased labour costs. That is a huge amount of money for those already struggling to put nutritious food on the table. Ninety-two per cent. of teenagers in the UK already struggle to get their five-a-day, and diets low in vegetables are linked to 20,000 premature deaths every year. We had a debate in Westminster Hall the other day about the links between junk food and childhood obesity. Cancer Research provided inspiration for that debate, and the other side of the healthy eating coin is obviously the consequences of unhealthy eating.