The Labour Party has issued a plea for the Agriculture Bill to return to Parliament to allow MPs and peers to amend and scrutinise it more closely.
Shadow Defra Secretary Sue Hayman described the Bill as a ‘missed opportunity’ which does not provide the security of a long-term budget for farming or assurances that UK farmers will not be undercut by cheap imports when post-Brexit trade deals are signed.
The call for Ministers to bring the legislation back comes shortly after NFU president Minette Batters warned it would not be passed until ‘summer or potentially autumn’.
Defra Secretary Michael Gove has since told a House of Lords Committee the Bill is ‘stacked above the landing zone’ waiting for the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement to get through Parliament.
Writing exclusively for Farmers Guardian’s Brexit hub, Ms Hayman said: “It is now nearly five months since the Government’s Agriculture Bill finished its final committee session in the House of Commons… but there is still no sign of it returning to Parliament to resume the process of legislative scrutiny.
“There are still many questions the British agricultural sector needs answering, but so far, the Bill has failed to address them.
“It lacks an overall vision for sustainable food production, the future of rural communities, or how to sustain a thriving food and farming sector in Britain.
“If the Government wants to see British farming flourish, then we need to get to work to make the Agriculture Bill as good as it can possibly be.
“I urge Ministers to bring it back to the House of Commons as soon as possible.”
To read Ms Hayman’s article in full, click HERE.