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‘It has been a wasted year’ - farm leaders urge Gov to fast track Ag Bill

The reinstatement of the Agriculture Bill was announced in the Queen’s speech today (October 14).

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‘It has been a wasted year’ - Farm leaders urge Government to fast track Ag Bill

Farm leaders have demanded a fast track on the Agriculture Bill following what they said has been a ‘wasted year’.

 

The reinstatement of the Agriculture Bill was announced in the Queen’s speech today (October 14) where she said ministers would work to implement ‘new regimes’ for agriculture and trade, ‘seizing the opportunities that arise from leaving the European Union’.

 

CLA director general Sarah Hendry said although the Government’s direction of travel was ‘robust and ambitious’, clarity was needed.

 

She said: “Farmers will be dismayed that the Agriculture Bill has to start all over again having been stuck in the legislative process for the past year.


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“It has been a wasted year. Farmers cannot begin to plan for their future until they know what they are transitioning towards, so Government must fast track the bill to make up for lost time, and finally give rural business owners some clarity.”

 

The Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) added the Government needed to ‘think carefully’ about how farmers would receive payments in the future.

 

It called for a ‘major shift in farm policy’.

 

SFT chief executive Patrick Holden said: “While we support the principle of public money for public goods, we are concerned by the lack of evidence that Defra is taking a truly joined-up approach to developing future policy.

 

“What we need is the integration of food production and nature conservation.”

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