Letters: Malcolm Cox, March 7, 2017

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Another edition of “Look East” (February 23) for our local Leavers, some say Brextremists, to answer although they have often been reluctant to respond with difficult questions.

Local employers from the region’s agricultural sector are again giving evidence to MPs. Minette Batters (NUF) and Tim Breitmyer, Deputy President of the Country Land and Business Association Limited, explained their situation. These are not my words, they are comments from folks at the sharp end who must surely know more about the reality of this issue than either me or all those who have been keen to scoff at my comments.

The report went as follows: “To secure long term investment we need to guarantee seasonal EU labour. Without this we will severely curtail investment and have to consider strategically relocating to Europe.”

We were told that in the whole of our region only 250 local Britons were on the employment register as suitable for such work while most large farms require 1,500 workers – yes, I was astonished by this figure too. Of 40,000 seasonal workers, 7,000 are migrants. We also learn that 26 per cent of NHS workers are non-native Britons.

We then listen to a couple of workers fromBulgaria and Romania grafting away in cold, miserable conditions who, in excellent English, explain their anxieties. This is the reality – that the likes of Paul Nuttall, et al, know nothing. The representatives listed above are not political figures they are from the commercial sector. So again I ask those readers such as Martin Yaxley, Steve Lund-Beck and others to tell us just how they are qualified to tell those representatives why they are wrong.

On second thoughts, perhaps mention of Mr Nuttall is a bit awkward right now. There must be an honourable local UKIP official who would like to reply.

Malcolm Cox

Terrington St Clement