Rural voice must be heard, says RSN chief

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The Rural Services Network (RSN) has urged politicians to remember the needs of rural communities as they seek election or re-election to Westminster.

RSN chief executive Graham Biggs said: “The Prime Minister called this general election to strengthen the UK’s hand during Brexit negotiations.

“Given the amount of support it receives from Brussels, the rural sector will be among those most affected by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

“In seeking to be elected or re-elected to parliament, it is vital that politicians remember the needs of our rural communities – and we will be fighting to ensure the rural voice is heard.”

Meanwhile, NFU President Meurig Raymond said that with farming arguably the sector most impacted by Brexit, NFU members will want to understand how each of the political parties plans to support profitable, productive and progressive agriculture and horticulture in the future.

He added: “The right post-Brexit trade deal is absolutely critical but equally well so is a new wider policy framework that better delivers for farming and the nation.

“Throughout the next seven weeks the NFU will ensure that all parties fully understand and engage with the food and farming community on the issues facing the sector both now and post-Brexit. British farms currently grow the raw ingredients for the UK food and drink manufacturing sector worth £108 billion and moreover the public want to continue to buy British food. For that to happen it’s vital that candidates recognise the enormous contribution that agriculture makes - for every £1 invested, farming delivers £7.40 back to this country – and to back British farming.”