The PM and Leader of the Opposition have insisted their poor performance in the local elections means people want them to rush through Brexit, but that’s not the message they were given, says Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP.
‘We must get on with delivering Brexit’.
That was the message from the leaders of the main two parties following their humiliation at the ballot box during the local elections last week.
There can be no doubt that dissatisfaction with Brexit was a key motivator in big gains for the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the independents and also was the reason behind a spike in the number of spoilt ballots across the country.
But for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s answer to this huge vote of no confidence in their handling of Brexit from both remain and leave voters to be to ‘just hurry up’ is foolish at best and disastrous for our country at worst.
There is a lot of dissatisfaction with politicians at the moment, but you don’t fix that by taking the most important issue our country has faced since 1945 and rushing it the night before the deadline.
We must not lose track of what’s at stake here.
How and if we leave the European Union will have a knock-on effect on our economy and specifically our agriculture sector for the next 50 years.
I’ve written in these columns before about British farming’s reliance on European markets, with 90 per cent of our hill farmer’s exports going to the EU.
If the ‘it’ that the two main parties insist we get on with delivering results in big trade barriers being erected with our farmers’ number one customer, then we seriously need to rethink what we are doing.
Meanwhile, the future of our agriculture sector seems more uncertain with the Government’s long-awaited Agriculture Bill firmly kicked into the long grass.
Over the coming weeks and months, our recently reformed All Party Parliamentary Group on hill farming will be pushing Defra Secretary Michael Gove to set a timescale for the Bill to give our farmers the security they need to plan for the future.
Tim can be found tweeting at @timfarron