Anthea McIntyre has been appointed Spokesman on Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Britain’s Conservative MEPs.

She is herself a grower and vineyard-owner on a small scale in her home county of Herefordshire.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, has been a member of the Agriculture Committee and the Employment Committee since she joined the European Parliament in 2011.

She has pursued a keen interest in promoting the potential of farming technology and has been a vocal opponent of attempts to ban the use of the weedkiller glyphosate.

Her appointment was announced yesterday (Weds) as she hosted a meeting in the parliament for the European Landowners’ Organisation to explore the scope for applying “big data” in agriculture.

She told the meeting: “With the future of farming becoming increasingly data-driven and data-enabled, the key area for policy development will be on the use and ownership of all this data.

“Without a supportive regulatory regime, European industry will relocate to more dynamic markets.”

On her appointment, she said: “I am delighted to be entrusted with this key portfolio.

“Managing our countryside sympathetically and putting food on our tables are both vital tasks. I firmly believe the right broad approach for legislators is to help farmers to do this in a sustainable way rather than by hindering them with over-regulation.”

“We may be leaving the EU, but I expect EU rules and standards to continue to be part of our agricultural structure for some time to come. It is important that we continue to have an influence over its direction for as long as possible.”