5 July 2000
Tory farm blueprint under fire

THE Conservative Partys new blueprint for farming has been attacked by the government and pro-European Tories.

Critics within the Conservative Party claim that the document will lead to renewed confrontation with the European Union, reports The Guardian.

Shadow Agriculture Minister Tim Yeo launched the A Fair Deal for Farmers during a visit to the Royal Show on Tuesday (4 July).

He promised the Tories would take action against Brussels over the beef ban by banning imports of European beef which fall below British safety standards.

He also promised unilateral British action on food labelling to end “misleading European labelling”.

But The Guardian quotes Agriculture Minister Nick Brown as saying that banning imports would put 6 billion-worth of British food and drink exports at risk.

His attack was echoed by an unnamed former Tory minister.

“It is illegal and would risk other British exports. These are the sort of ideas which are dreamt up in a pub at 2.30 on a Sunday afternoon,” reports the paper.