15 October 1999

Lobby MPs, please

FARMERS are being urged to lobby their MP over the next few days to prepare them for a debate on agriculture in the House of Commons.

MPs are expected to get the opportunity to debate the current situation in the food and farming sector when they return to parliament after the summer break.

The Liberal Democrats have requested that there should be a debate on food and farming next Wednesday (Oct 20) to give MPs from all parties the chance to quiz the government on its policy towards the sector.

Paul Tyler, MP for North Cornwall told FARMERS WEEKLY that farmers should take the opportunity over the weekend to lobby their MPs, so they were well armed for the discussion.

Decisions would be taken by the government and parliament and it was vital that MPs knew what was going on, he said.

Liberal Party leader and former agriculture spokesman Charles Kennedy will open the debate and is expected to call for more effective government action to help the farm sector.

It is hoped that the debate will be well attended, coming only a day after members return to London and in the slot after Prime Ministers question time.

"This [the current farm crisis] is not just an issue for countryside and rural areas but is also of critical importance to the whole country," said Mr Tyler.