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Home > News > NPA welcomes Robert Goodwill to Defra

NPA welcomes Robert Goodwill to Defra

6th Mar 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The NPA has welcomed Yorkshire MP and farmer Robert Goodwill to Defra, after he was unveiled as the new Agriculture Minister.


Mr Goodwill, who is from a farming background, was elected Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby in 2005. He replaces George Eustice, who resigned last week after four years in the role in protest at Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to allow MPs a possible vote this month to delay Brexit.

Mr Goodwill’s most recent role in Government was as an Education Minister from June 2017 to January 2018. Prior to that, he held the important post of Immigration Minister at the Home Office and was one of the focal points for the farming industry efforts to persuade the Government of the importance of retaining access to EU labour after we leave the EU.

Mr Goodwill has been a farmer since 1979, with 250 acres of land near Malton, which has been in his family since 1850. He has been the managing director of Mowthorpe since 1995, a company offering environmentally friendly burials in the North Yorkshire countryside.

NPA chairman Richard Lister said: “We welcome Robert Goodwill to Defra at a critical time as we face up to the realities for agriculture of operating outside the EU.

"We are pleased that he comes to the role with first-hand experience of farming in Yorkshire, a major pig producing part of the country. With his experience at the Home Office, he also arrives with knowledge of some of our concerns over Brexit, particularly in relation to the need to retain access to EU labour, including so-called low-skilled permanent workers.”

The NPA has written to Mr Goodwill welcoming him to the post. “We look forward to meeting with him and building a constructive working relationship,” Richard added.

Defra Secretary Michael Gove said he was delighted to welcome Mr Goodwill to the Defra team. "Robert’s hands on knowledge of farming at the sharp end, experience in European politics, great ministerial record and shrewd judgment are an asset to Government," he said.