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Ed's Brexit round-up - changes afoot

28th Jun 2019 / By Ed Barker

After a personal hiatus (being on honeymoon in Canada), it wont have taken much to realise there are changes afoot in the leadership of the country(!)

EdBarkerNPAWe are now down to two candidates, and we all wait with baited breath to see if they can deliver anything genuinely different to what has come before, or if it signals more of the same.

Chelsea change their manager every few years without fail, and the underlying issues are the same, whereas Wolves and my beloved Ipswich changed their managers and the whole world seemed to turn upside down with it.

My instincts tell me that we are more likely to see the former and less likely the latter; one cannot overlook the fact that the fundamental numbers have not changed; the Conservatives are a minority Government, with stubborn backbenchers on both sides of the Brexit debate happy to defy their Government.

We can only wait and see – though the prospect of a no deal will come round again and very quickly too, as the end of October approaches. I am in no doubt that we would likely see a repeat of what happened the last time No Deal was on the horizon.

Meeting the new Minister

Last week also saw us, and other livestock groups get to have a sit down with Robert Goodwill Minster of State in Defra, covering agriculture. Many readers in the North East will be aware of Robert Goodwill as an MP who knows his stuff when it comes to agriculture and livestock in general.

In a wide ranging chat we did get assurances that he not only understands the gravity of the ASF situation globally, but also that this is one of the key issues he talks to his counterparts in other countries about.

His pig knowledge has been confirmed by a few members who heard him speak at the ‘Groundswell’ (something to do with cereal farmers who don’t like ploughing and grow weeds after harvest) about the pig sector in more detail, on wild boar and livestock efficiency.

There is a slight snag in that he has come out in support of Jeremy Hunt for the leadership race, so sadly he may not be around for long.