Farmers to ’empty chair’ Liz Truss for refusal to attend rural campaigns |  liz truss

Farmers to ’empty chair’ Liz Truss for refusal to attend rural campaigns | liz truss

Liz Truss will be “empty chaired” by farmers after snubbing rural drives scheduled for tomorrow.

His rival for the leadership, Rishi Sunak, will address members of the National Farmers Union tomorrow, but despite pleas from the NFU president, Truss has refused to attend.

The foreign secretary would likely have been asked about Wednesday’s accusations by Environment Secretary George Eustice that he refused to enshrine animal welfare standards in trade deals.

NFU President Minette Batters said it was a “shame” that Truss did not want to attend the election, adding: “It does not bode well, George Eustice has made her comments, you would think she would want to put her marker down.” . down.”

UK farmers have felt undermined by post-Brexit trade deals with other countries, which have threatened to subject overseas farming to lower standards than local farmers are forced to meet.

New Zealand farmers were delighted with the trade deal signed by Truss, with a recent report in New Zealand news describing UK farmers as “sacrificial lambs”, due to tariff-free imports agreed by the deal. He explained how the UK’s less intensive farming methods could mean they will soon be overtaken by New Zealand.

Truss’s team said it “can’t measure up to everything” and was making an effort to speak to tens of thousands of Conservative members across the UK.

However, Batters said the recent drought and cost-of-living crises meant it was more important than ever for Truss to talk to farmers. He hoped that even though Truss was missing out on Friday’s organized drives, he would meet with farmers in the coming weeks to discuss rural policy.

She said: “I have offered to meet her anywhere. I have offered to do it virtually, we are not tied to any place or anything. But it doesn’t seem likely. It’s disappointing as it’s not just about agriculture – food is such a critical issue, water is so important to everyone, especially right now.”

Sunak is expected to outline his farming plan to NFU members, and his team said protecting British farmers in trade deals would be at the forefront of any of his policies. They said he would “support farmers in all future UK trade deals, taking the time to get the trade deals right, rather than rushing them to meet artificial self-imposed deadlines”, which could be read as a direct hit to the his opponent.

He also promised to maintain and boost domestic food production through a UK food security target and to introduce a “buy local” target for the public sector, prioritizing UK produce over imports.

However, he has come under fire from environmental activists for promising to “protect” the earth from solar panels and rebuilding.

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