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I feel unrepresented and underwhelmed by the choice of MEP candidates

With traditional party loyalties trashed, the choice of candidates at the European elections has left me feeling unrepresented and underwhelmed, says Cheshire dairy farmer Phil Latham.

I wouldn’t put my house on it, but I dare say the main electoral parties will be getting a spanking in the European elections.

 

The coalition of the disgruntled will no doubt vote for Mr Farage’s new Brexit Party, but in addition to the die-hard Brexit fantasists who adore his brand of politics, there will also be the disillusioned leave voters who cannot bring themselves to support the Tories and who want to register their dissatisfaction with their voting preference.

 

I understand this I think, at least a little.

 

What of remain voters? I expect for some the vote will be for the Greens or Lib Dems.

 

For both groups, normal party loyalty will tug hard at their hearts.

 

Bluster

 

I expect the whole thing will result in a lot of politicking and much bluster as those who win may never take office and those who lose keep their hands on the levers of power.

 

We don’t appear to have made much Brexit progress, but soon the PM could present her deal again.

 

Like a zombie, she will return to the House to hear MPs’ views on her Withdrawal Agreement which has been killed off three times already.

 

I expect her fate and that of the Bill to be equally miserable.

 

I find it odd that her own party members, whose views she has tried to represent with her Withdrawal Agreement, are among those keenest to knife her in the back and see an end to her term.

 

Democracy

 

If it’s democracy they want, then back the leader.

 

Or if the deal she has agreed isn’t what they wanted, because the way to leave was never defined during the referendum, then give the people a choice to have their say again in light of the facts with an option to remain.

 

There seems to be no end to the number of Tory MPs with delusions of yet undiscovered talent and those trying to rekindle their glory years by seeking higher office.

 

It all seems rather unedifying.

 

Terrifying

 

I find it terrifying that we may face the prospect of a choice between Corbyn or Johnson at the next General Election, because dithering and lying are not great qualities for the top job.

 

What does this mean for farming? We don’t know. The Agriculture Bill seems stuck in limbo until we know where we are.

 

The threat of no deal and the catastrophic impacts it might bring with non-reciprocal tariffs seem to have faded, but may surface again depending on who gets to set the agenda.

 

Will we get a ratification vote with the option to remain? Possibly, but we don’t know if Labour are serious about that or not.

 

Direction

 

The political uncertainty needs to be removed. We need direction, we need to understand which regulatory regime we will have to adhere to and find out if we’ll have any influence over it or not.

 

We need to know what the new deal means for our domestic food supply and the impact it will have on net farm incomes. The AHDB Horizon Report doesn’t look great for dairy.

 

You cannot be everything to everyone, so we’ll have to finally choose a path, but I feel unrepresented and underwhelmed by my choice of candidates.

 

I wouldn’t put my house on remaining – but I have put it on diversification. Like Brexit, time will tell if that’s a mistake.

 

Phil can be found tweeting at @PhilLatham


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