After what was a tricky year for agriculture, I believe we can look forward to some decent yields this coming harvest. The winter crops are looking healthy and strong, and unless they get hit by extreme weather or disease, they should do well. Mind you, everything balances out in the end, and a bumper crop will result in lower prices. It is hard to win in this game.
If Brexit goes as it should our fishing fleet should soon resume control over British waters. However this depends upon naval patrols, which currently are having trouble spotting boats with illegal immigrants. It remains questionable whether they will be more successful spotting EU fishermen making off with our fish.
It seems that at last the House of Commons is coming to its senses, and sooner rather than later Speaker Bercow will be given his marching orders.
Never has there been an occupant of the Speaker’s Chair more unsuitable, or one who has brought such shame and controversy to this former honourable position.
John Bercow is partisan and a bully. Having promised to go last year, he is now hanging on like the grim reaper. Regrettably Labour and Remoaners are supporting him, as they quite rightly consider he is on their side.
It is essential he goes before important votes and decisions regarding Brexit; he cannot be trusted to be objective. Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, the highly respected Chairman of Ways and Means, should replace him with immediate effect. Mr Hoyle is an honourable man, and has since his appointment in 2010, demonstrated his ability to remain fair and unbiased.
It is tempting to believe my thoughts regarding Singapore had been shared with ministers in the Foreign Office! Perhaps not, but much of what Jeremy Hunt said before and during his recent trip, could have been plucked directly from my column.
The UK could do far worse than implement many of Singapore’s policies and laws. Plans should be in place to ensure that on 30th March they are applied with immediate effect.
On the same lines we will also have the opportunity to further boost our trade with Commonwealth countries, recognising they are our true friends, partners and equals.
Why does it take New Zealander and former High Commissioner to the UK, Sir Lockwood Smith, speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, to point out the tremendous opportunities a no deal Brexit offers, including British agriculture?
He said a ‘halfway house’ is not going to work, we either stay in or get out. The UK has the opportunity to pick up where the USA, now weakened in global trade, has dropped out.
Sir Lockwood Smith spelt out the advantages of a ‘smart global strategy’, and free trade agreements. But he emphasised that this will depend upon a clean break with the EU, and full control over our own regulatory policy, which cannot happen if we remain under Brussel’s regulations.
In the 1980s New Zealand’s wine and sheep producers were in crises. Today wine is their second biggest export, and thriving sheep farmers produce more meat from 27.5m sheep than they did from 70m, and use 23% less land.
British farmers do not need to be propped up by stultifying EU subsidies. We are amongst the best farmers in the world, producing high quality and high welfare standard produce.
Worldwide markets want to buy British. We should listen to our friends who offer advice and view our great country from the outside, recognising the amazing opportunities Brexit offers. We must stop allowing those who wish us to remain a small cog in the diminishing and corrupt wheel which is the EU, to dominate the argument.