As someone who juggles a busy schedule as leader of Cheshire East Council with helping my husband on our dairy farm, I know first-hand just how tough a job it is.

While many people are tucked up in bed, farmers have already been up for several hours tending to their herds, with no time off for special occasions.

For years farmers have been held back by EU rules, with cash payments based on how much land they have, not the contribution they make to the environment.

The new Agriculture Bill will help farming become more profitable, while helping farmers reduce their environmental footprint, resulting in farmers and land owners rewarded for ‘public goods’, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding. We have to make sure that our fantastic countryside is left in a good state for future generations, while protecting the livelihoods of our farmers.

The current subsidy system is outdated and as we leave the EU we now have an opportunity to deliver a green Brexit, one that rewards farmers for their environmental commitments.

Rachel Bailey

eader of Cheshire East Council