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West Norfolk farmers' leader reassured on Brexit by county show talks with MP


By Judy Bates


A West Norfolk farmers' leader says he is more confident about the industry's future in post-Brexit Britain following talks with a government minister.

South West Norfolk MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss met farmers and landowners during a visit to the Royal Norfolk Show yesterday.

The Royal Norfolk Show Norwich, Day Two Thursday 27th June 2019..Chief Secretary to the Treasury and South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss at the NFU Stand on Thurday, with LtoR, Ben Johnson (Swaffham YFC), Ed Lankfer (Chairman of the NFU Downham and Southery Branch), Luke Pratt (Swaffham YFC), Johnny Warner (Swaffham YFC).. (13094921)
The Royal Norfolk Show Norwich, Day Two Thursday 27th June 2019..Chief Secretary to the Treasury and South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss at the NFU Stand on Thurday, with LtoR, Ben Johnson (Swaffham YFC), Ed Lankfer (Chairman of the NFU Downham and Southery Branch), Luke Pratt (Swaffham YFC), Johnny Warner (Swaffham YFC).. (13094921)

She managed to fit her visit into a busy schedule which had seen her grilled the previous evening on BBC's Newsnight about her support for Boris Johnson in the Conservative leadership election.

And, following her visit to the showground, she headed for Halifax to appear on last night's Question Time.

This time she met National Farmers Union and Country Landowners Association members concerned about the possible impact of Brexit on their industry.

Among them was Ed Lankfer, chairman of the Downham and Southery NFU branch who said: “We need to make sure that agriculture remains competitive and that she supports us.”

But, after the meeting, he said he felt more more confident than he had before.

He said: “She obviously understands how the industry works and I came away feeling that she is on our side.

“There were assurances that our concerns about funding in the future will be addressed and considered and that we will be looked after no matter what happens over Brexit.

“Farmers have to make massive investments in terms of machinery and seed to be able to grow their crops and we need the security of knowing we will get a return for that investment.”

Ms Truss said that by talking directly to farmers she was learning about their priorities and what they want the Government to focus on.

And she reiterated her support for Mr Johnson in the contest, insisting he offered clarity on Brexit compared with his rival, Jeremy Hunt.

She said: “He is the only candidate who will ensure we leave on October 31 and I believe he has got what it takes to make Britain's economy grow.”



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