Last week I spoke to Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, in a meeting with South West Conservative MPs.
We discussed the Government’s recent announcement of a Trade and Agriculture Commission to allow the agriculture industry to inform how the UK develops our trade policy in a way that is beneficial to our agricultural sector.
In forming this Commission, the Government aims to protect British farmers from unfair competition and identify new export opportunities for the UK agriculture industry that benefit small and medium sized businesses.
This Commission is supported by the National Farmers’ Union, with the Government reiterating our manifesto pledges last month that our very high food and farming standards will not be compromised in any trade agreements.
In the meeting, I made clear that it was our job as South West MPs to make sure we get trade deals that benefit all parts of the United Kingdom, including here in the South West – something that benefits consumers and producers alike.
As the economy continues to re-open, the Government is committed to doing all it can to support recovery, help businesses and organisations adjust and create new jobs.
In recent days, the Government has also announced a £1.57 billion support package, including £880 million in grants, to help protect the futures of our world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions.
Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.
The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will help them stay afloat while their doors are closed.
Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce his latest plans today for steering the economy through the coronavirus crisis.
I look forward to hearing the statement in full – having raised my constituents’ concerns with the Chancellor directly, I hope he will put jobs and livelihoods at the heart of his stimulus measures.