The NPA has responded to the surprise appointment of Michael Gove as Defra Secretary. Noting Mr Gove’s past as a campaigner for a ‘hard Brexit’ approach and as a reformer, the stresses the need for it and other farming organisations to work effectively with the new Cabinet Minister.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We are pleased to see such a big hitter given the Defra brief and hope he will become a powerful advocate for farming across Government at this critical time.
“We note his previous stance as a proponent of a ‘hard Brexit’. It will be incumbent on us and others to make a strong case for delivering trade and labour policies, in particular, that do not disadvantage the pig sector. Continued free access to the EU market and protection from lower standard imports will remain Brexit priorities for our organisation, alongside the need to retain access to EU labour.
“We also note Mr Gove’s previous record in seeking to drive radical change in the sectors he has responsibility for. We look forward to working constructively with him to help ensure he secures the best possible outcomes for the pig sector.”
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “The NFU welcomes Michael Gove as the new Defra Secretary of State and we look forward to working with him to ensure all areas of Whitehall understand and value the importance of British food and farming.”
Ian Wright, director general of the Food and Drink Federation said: “It is a big boost that the Prime Minister has appointed one of the Cabinet’s heaviest hitters to a ministry so significantly at the heart of Brexit.
“We very much look forward to working with Mr Gove and his new team. With them and with friends from NFU and across UK food and drink we will champion the growth of the industry in the exciting months to come.”