TATTON MP Esther McVey is demanding answers from Government over what it can do to ensure farmers across Cheshire get the support they need to keep the industry thriving.

She met with farmers to discuss a range of issues including what they want to see in the forthcoming Agricultural Bill – which will see changes to the way farmers are paid and ensure a balance is struck between food production and the environment.

Ms McVey said: “British farmers are responsible for securing our fantastic British food supply, looking after our world-renowned countryside and sustaining a dynamic rural economy. We need to make sure decisions in Parliament reflect the strategic importance of British food and farming to the nation.”

Ms McVey visited Dairy Farm at Mobberley, the home of Mobberley Angus, on March 13, and was introduced to her namesake Esther the calf, before meeting with other farmers, including dairy, arable and poultry farmers, from across the constituency.

The group discussed issues including how plans for high speed rail HS2 will affect their land, problems caused by flooding, and the opportunities and challenges presented to the sector as a result of leaving the EU.

She said: “I was delighted to meet the two new calves Esther and Boris on my visit.

Farming is so important in this area and I know people have real concerns over how HS2 will impact their livelihood.

“I share these concerns and have spoken out before about my fear that there will be pockets of land left that are too small to farm and are largely inaccessible for farmers.

“When HS2 goes across open land, there seems to have been no consideration (and this is also where HS2 are working with affected farmers now) to how the farmer is meant to be able to farm around the line.

In some cases, there are losing enough land to make the farm uncommercial but not enough for HS2 to buy it from them as of right. This is a serious problem and one I will keep raising with Government ministers.”

The group also discussed finances, subsidies and ensuring any trade deals to import food meet the high standards British farmers expect.

Ms McVey added: “I will be discussing these issues with Treasury colleagues and ministers at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and making representations when the Agriculture Bill returns to Parliament to ensure we have a long-term funding commitment for farming and measures in place that give farmers a fair share on returns from the supply chain.”