Two referendum meetings took place on the first morning. The first hosted by the CLA and Batchellor Monkhouse, at which Nick Herbert MP, chairman of the Remain team, and Cllr Mrs Sally Anne Hart JP, who spoke on behalf of Vote Leave, addressed this critical subject.
Later in the Farmers Pavilion Owen Paterson MP went head to head with Peter Kendall, a former president of the NFU. At both meetings the audience lent towards Leave, and it was fairly obvious that despite forebodings of doom and gloom if we Vote to Leave, from Mr Herbert and Mr Kendall, they failed to sway their audiences.
The cattle lines were populated with quality and beautifully turned out cattle. The standard was as always exceptional, but it was disappointing that numbers were well down. Bovine TB movement restriction, the sharp downturn in agricultural income and the decline in farmers willing or able to devote time to prepare and bring cattle to she show, has certainly taken its toll.
However those who did, presented award winning cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, which certainly showed the public that standards are not slipping, even if numbers are. British livestock farmers produce to a very high standard, the best in the world.
At the standing committee of member state experts last week at the EU, no decision was reached on whether glyphosate (Roundup) should be approved for use for a further 18 months. Despite 20 member states giving their approval, European voting rules mean that a set majority of the population – known as a qualified majority – must be in favour. Only one member state (Malta) voted specifically against the extension, with seven abstentions from Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Austria, Portugal and Luxembourg.
Glyphosate is a vital chemical tool which farmers rely upon to keep fields weed free for food production. If no decision is made by June 20, the current authorisation will lapse after June 30, and an automatic withdrawal of all products containing the chemical put in place..
This is another example of why negotiating with 28 nations which must all be consulted and unanimously agree, is a complete nonsense. The British government supports the use of Glyphosate, Brussels should not override decisions made in Westminster.
The NFU which recommends Remaining in the EU, is now telling farmers that if this vital tool is withdrawn, the cost to them and the UK economy would be at least £500m a year. Perhaps the NFU should reconsider their position. I see a return to stubble burning on the cards, for which I have frequently.
A service of Thanksgiving for the life if The Right Honourable The Lord Parkinson, was held at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster. The service, with music, singing, readings and tributes, perfectly reflecting the life of this remarkable man.
As Charles Moore said in his perfect, moving yet light hearted Tribute to the man who as Cecil Parkinson MP, was a true friend and passionate supporter of Margaret Thatcher. None more so than during the Falklands war, and when he was chairman of the party.
Charles also reminded us that is was Cecil with the support of Mrs Thatcher and Nigel Lawson who set in motion the deregulation of the City, which later became the Big Bang. And if they had not acted then the City of London would have declined into a minor club, instead of being the global giant of financial services that it is today.
Cecil loved his country, and he had a rare privilege of helping decisively to change it for the better. It can be said that he, perhaps more than anyone else, brought out the greatness of a remarkable Prime Minister who made that change happen. Today’s leaders are from a different mould – a great pity!