Sir, I feel I must respond to John Lamont MP regarding his letter published in The Scottish Farmer on the 20th June.

I am disappointed that the NFUS or QMS has not responded to this letter as they should be far abler than me to do so, and it really is they who should be supporting us farmers whenever possible – I thought that was their job.

Mr Lamont states in the beginning of his letter that the import of produce into the UK will have to comply with UK and EU standards and will not be compromised in any trade deals with the rest of the world. He then goes on to say later in his letter that no current trade agreements include provisions forcing partners to operate by another country’s domestic regulations and standards.

So Mr Lamont what are you saying are you going to protect the farmers in the UK from imports that do not meet our standards or are you saying you can’t because there would be no chance of getting any deals done? You and most of your fellow conservative MPs voted against the bill that could have protected farmers here in Scotland and the UK from imports that do not meet our strict standards.

It costs us money to keep these standards to a high level – double tagging cattle; traceability by passports for all cattle; no use of hormones which can boost growth and finish cattle faster therefore cheaper; the constant fight to eradicate BVD, TB, and keep clear of foot-and-mouth and many other diseases; keeping the use of antibiotics to an absolute minimum with strict records kept; no chance to grow GM crops which could mean cheaper cattle food – as you can see, the list is endless.

Mr Lamont you state in your letter that you are a farmer’s son as if that gives you a better understanding of what you and your cronies are doing on our behalf – well Mr Lamont, you are way off the mark and you should take more notice and some advice from some of the eminent people who are criticising you and your government in the farming press. I can see we as farmers are going to be sold out because you and your boss couldn’t organize a tea party never mind do deals with other countries.

When the cheap beef, chicken, lamb or other food hits the supermarket shelves it will be snapped up by the majority of the public who don’t look at country of origin, only price! I have lost all confidence in this Conservative Government doing anything for farmers post Brexit, and will be withholding my vote from you and your crew in the future .

We as farmers shovel a lot of it, but you and your fellow MPs talk a lot of it.

James Barrie,

Rumbleton Farm,