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'Morally bankrupt' - Jacob Rees-Mogg faces backlash for undermining UK farming industry

Jacob Rees-Mogg has come under intense scrutiny for his recent remarks concerning the nation's agricultural sector. His assertion that the UK does not require fruit pickers and should instead import cheaper fruit from overseas has sparked a wave of criticism from various farming groups.

These organisations have condemned his comments as a severe underestimation of the critical role that farmers and seasonal workers play in the UK's food production.


Rees-Mogg's stance has been particularly criticised for its apparent disregard for the challenges faced by the British farming community.


His remarks coincide with data from the Office for National Statistics showing a substantial increase in net migration, a point he used to argue for stricter controls on legal migration. Farming bodies have vehemently opposed his views, accusing him of neglecting the invaluable contributions of growers and pickers in maintaining domestic food production.


Liz Webster, chair of Save British Farming, has been vocal in her criticism of Rees-Mogg, accusing him of betraying British farmers by favouring lower-standard foreign imports. She emphasised the importance of food security and the superior standards of British food, which are not only beneficial for health and the environment but also a source of national pride.


The National Farmers Union (NFU) president, Minette Batters, went further, labelling Rees-Mogg as 'morally bankrupt' for his endorsement of hormone-injected beef imports from Australia, which he described as 'cheap and delicious'.


This stance was met with strong opposition from Somerset farmers, who wrote an open letter to Rees-Mogg, imploring him to reconsider the potentially damaging ramifications of his support for intensive farming systems that threaten to lower the standards of British farming.


Martin Emmett, chair of the NFU horticulture and potato board, underscored the essential role of seasonal workers in the UK's food production. He called on the government to recognise the importance of these workers in producing and processing high-quality, affordable, and sustainable food, vital for the UK's food security.


Emmett also highlighted that Rees-Mogg's preference for cheaper imported produce is a blatant disregard for the hard work and dedication of British farmers and growers.


The controversy surrounding Rees-Mogg's comments has brought to the forefront the critical issue of supporting domestic agriculture versus the importation of affordable food.


It underscores the need for a balanced approach that not only considers economic factors but also prioritises food security, job preservation, and the resilience of the agricultural sector.


His remarks are seen as a significant let-down for the farming industry, undermining the efforts and contributions of those who work tirelessly to uphold the high standards of British agriculture.

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