The guests were welcomed by Lord Waldergrave, chairman of Coutts Bank. The Duke of Northumberland, Sir James Paice, Edward Mansel Lewis, Alan Beynon and Simon Staples were guest speakers.
The topics ranged from ‘Next Generation Conservation - What’s it Worth?,’ to British Viticulture, and the future of shooting. Fine Wine for Drinking and Investing was also included, as one would expect with Berry Bros & Rudd a co-sponsor.
The star turn of the evening was to be Michael Gove, but just in case events in Parliament resulted in a no show, he sent his brand new No 2.
Agriculture Minister Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby presented Michael Gove’s speech. Mr Goodwill is a firm Eurosceptic, and former MEP.
The Minister, a farmer whose land has been in his family since 1850, is a worthy replacement for George Eustice, along with his political pedigree and Brexit views.
Having ‘escaped’ from a Cabinet Meeting Michael Gove eventually turned up, for which he deserved praise considering what was happening in Parliament last Thursday.
He took questions from the floor, including one farmer asking why when he undertakes ‘conservation work’, at the bequest of DEFRA, and at significant cost, he does not receive his due compensation, on time if at all.
A few questions touched on Brexit, but none really challenged Mr Gove, although he made an effort to answer with conviction.
Later, as we mingled I challenged the Minister as to why ‘The speech’ had not mentioned fishing. I asked, ‘if Mrs May’s Withdrawal Deal is voted through, when will our fishermen regain their fishing grounds?’
To my dismay, instead of being honest about Mrs May’s Deal, and explaining it would result in the UK only being ‘consulted’ on this and other future policies, as well as being bound by EU’s decisions resulting in not getting our fishing grounds back, he ducked the question by telling me all will be fine by 2021.
If even Mr Gove does not recognise that by supporting this dreadful Withdrawal Agreement, we surrender our sovereignty to Brussels indefinitely, God help the UK.
This deal results in the UK remaining a member state but without the ability to appoint or elect members or participate in decision making. Having no veto on EU laws and decisions, and probably remaining in the Treaty until the end of the century, due to the Backstop.
Any help for British Agriculture or other British industries will still be under the control of the EU and limited to 2019 levels, even if other 27 countries increase their support. And we shall be prevented from negotiating any Trade Deals with the rest of the world.
Also, the Attorney General has said, “Far from being required to pay the EU £39bn as the PM agreed, our true debt is just £8bn”.
None of this was what we or indeed the Remain lobby voted for. As a friend wisely asked, “Can anyone in the Remain camp explain why remaining or supporting this deal is a good thing, if they have read the Lisbon Treaty and see what is going on in the EU in the future, when the Euro will be forced on us, and London Financial Centre will be moved to Frankfurt along with the taxes it earns, with a potential 200,000 job losses”?
“Remainers talk about the youngsters and their future jobs if we leave…what jobs? Youth unemployment is running extraordinarily high in Europe”.
To preserve the UKs dignity and independence from the federalist EU, patriotic MPs must reject the deal, allowing us to leave on 29 March, and then install a new prime minister.