IN 2020 the UK will embark upon a round of trade negotiations with numerous countries.

In particular our teams will be in detailed talks with the USA and EU.

It is to be hoped that a quick deal can be struck with the Americans as this will have a knock on effect with the EU.

The reason for this is simple. Food prices in the UK are about 20 per cent higher than they could be if subsidies paid under the Common Agricultural Policy, mainly to inefficient French farmers with the odd hen, cow and pig are eliminated and world food prices come into force.

Faced with real competition from the USA for their exports to the UK, Mr Barnier’s team will have to think twice before trying to bully us into accepting their “level playing field”.

Of course the farming industry in the UK will face similar competition and will have to adapt. It happened in New Zealand some years ago when all subsidies were removed and that country’s agricultural sector is thriving as a result.

D W Lacey, Durham.