Sleaford MP welcomes Article 50 trigger as ‘an historic day’

Dr Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham. EMN-170130-155442001
Dr Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham. EMN-170130-155442001

Sleaford’s MP has described yesterday’s triggering of Article 50 by the Prime Minister to begin Britain’s withdrawal from the EU as “an historic day” but pressed for support for local farmers.

Dr Caroline Johnson MP yesterday (Wednesday) welcomed the start of the process for leaving the EU.

During Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon, Dr Johnson congratulated the Prime Minister on her leadership “on this historic day”. But asked: “Local farmers would like reassurance that their livelihoods will be protected as we leave the EU. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that she will do all that she can to support British farming during the negotiations?”

The Prime Minister replied: “Yes. We have already been able to give some reassurance to farmers with our commitment on funding through to 2020 but, of course, we will then need to look at the arrangements that are put in place after the UK leaves the European Union.

“I assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working with farmers in all parts of the United Kingdom to look at what are the best arrangements for the way ahead.”

Commenting afterwards, Dr Johnson said: “Today is an historic day. We have now seen the delivery of the Prime Minister’s letter to the European Council President announcing the triggering of Article 50 and the start of our withdrawal from the EU.

“I was impressed by her positive and optimistic tone about our country’s future, matched with her determination to secure our national interest. I asked her to commit to protecting and supporting our agricultural industry, and she assured me that the government would do all it can to secure a good deal for the farming community.

“We now move into the two year period of negotiations, which will be difficult, but I hope that we in Parliament and throughout the UK will stand united to ensure that we get the best possible deal that works for everyone.”