Agriculture — 4 Nov 1998
Oliver Letwin MP, West Dorset voted in the minority (Aye).
I beg to move,
That this House deplores the failure of the Government to respond to the deepening crisis in agriculture and to secure an end to the beef export ban; applauds the achievements of British farmers in raising animal welfare and environmental standards; recognises that a thriving rural economy depends on a viable agricultural industry and that this can be achieved by giving farmers a chance to compete on equal terms as summarised in the Opposition's call for a Fair Deal for Farmers; calls on the Government to renew or replace the Calf Processing Scheme, restore HLCAs to 1993 levels and take up agri-monetary compensation for the livestock sector financed by the underspends on the agriculture budget; urges action to establish honesty in labelling to help consumers make better informed choices, to encourage the purchase of home grown food by all public sector bodies and cut the burden of excessive regulation; calls for an immediate ban on the sale of food not produced to standards required in Britain; and condemns the hostility consistently displayed by Ministers to the country people in local government finance, transport and planning policy.
Farmers Weekly has even published a leader warning of the risks of suicide among farmers. In 15 years of representing a farming constituency I cannot remember a bleaker period and right hon. and hon. Friends who have been in the House twice as long tell me that they cannot either. It is not merely farmers who are being destroyed; the entire rural economy has been hit. The fabric of our countryside is threatened--those parts of it which the Deputy Prime Minister has not covered in concrete through his damaging planning decisions.
Nevertheless, I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:
"welcomes the Government's strong commitment to the United Kingdom farming industry and to the wider rural economy; recognises that the lifting of the beef export ban in Northern Ireland represents the first crucial step towards lifting the ban from all parts
of the United Kingdom; welcomes the steps which the Government has taken since May 1997 to support the beef and sheep industry via EU agri-monetary compensation and relief from charges; acknowledges the steps taken specifically to help the sheep, pig and cereal sectors with targeted EU measures; and endorses the Government's intention to bring about a secure and viable future for United Kingdom farming by seeking a reformed Common Agricultural Policy, which is more economically rational, which reduces the bureaucratic burden on farmers, which enhances targeted support for the rural economy, which serves the consumer well and which contains fair and common rules to ensure that the United Kingdom's farming and food industries can exploit their competitive advantages in European and world markets." [Interruption.]
Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--
The House divided: Ayes 129, Noes 325.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||0||128 (+2 tell)||0||80.2%|
|Lab||293 (+2 tell)||0||0||70.7%|