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General Election 2017: What are the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Green Party promising?

With the general election now just a matter of weeks away, the main political parties have set out their polices on agriculture and the environment. 


We’ve weeded out the relevant promises so you don’t have to...


The Conservatives are pledging to:

The Conservatives are pledging to:
  • Commit to funding farm support until 2022
  • Work with farmers, ‘environmental experts’ and the devolved administrations to create a new agri-environment system, to be introduced in the following parliament


  • Make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory
  • ‘Control’ the export of live farm animals for slaughter
  • Help Natural England extend their technical advice to farmers as they deliver environmental improvements
  • Produce a 25-year Environment Plan to ‘chart how to improve the environment as we leave the EU’
  • Grant a free vote (where MPs can vote with their conscience and not according to party lines) on fox hunting
  • Improve natural flood management
  • Protect public forests and ancient woodland
  • Enhance the provision of public services such as Post Offices, pharmacies, schools and banking services in rural areas
  • Invest in broadband
  • Reform the business rates system, making sure revaluations are conducted more frequently
  • Increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020, and then by the rate of median earnings
  • Deliver a smooth and orderly departure from the EU
  • Strike trade deal with the EU which minimises barriers to trade
  • Secure new trade deals with other countries
  • Increase the decision-making powers of devolved administrations, but keep common frameworks in ‘some areas’ to prevent erection of trade barriers in the UK
  • Increase spending on research and development
  • Develop the shale gas industry

The Labour Party is pledging to:

The Labour Party is pledging to:
  • Promote ‘cruelty-free’ animal husbandry and consult on ways to ensure ‘better enforcement’ of agreed standards
  • Extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator
  • ‘Reconfigure funds’ for farming to support smaller traders, local economies, community benefits and sustainable practices
  • Ban neonicotinoids ‘as soon as our EU relationship allows us to do so’
  • Stop the badger cull, ‘which spreads bovine TB’
  • Establish a ‘science innovation fund’ to work with farmers
  • Re-instate the Agricultural Wages Board
  • Keep bans on fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing
  • Allow EU workers employed in farming and food manufacturing to remain in the UK and re-instate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme
  • Reflect the different ways rural councils deliver public services in funding allocation mechanisms
  • ‘Consider differences’ of rural areas in a re-evaluation of business rate schemes
  • Introduce a ‘rural-proofing process’ so all laws, policies and programmes consider their impact on rural communities
  • End Post Office closures
  • Provide a ‘full range of banking services in every community’
  • Invest in rural broadband, 4G extensions, housing and transport
  • Invest in ‘better flood management’ and give Fire and Rescue Services a statutory duty to respond to floods
  • Defend and extend existing environmental protections
  • Plant a million trees

The Liberal Democrats are pledging to:

The Liberal Democrats are pledging to:
  • Reform farm payments, moving away from direct subsidy and towards support for ‘public goods’
  • Encourage new entrants to farming by ‘championing’ different forms of ownership including longer tenancies, share farming, and community ownership
  • Introduce a ‘National Food Strategy’ to promote the production of healthy, sustainable and affordable food
  • Extend the Groceries Code Adjudicator remit
  • Update farm animal welfare codes and promote the responsible stewardship of antibiotic drugs
  • Ensure future trade deals require high safety, environmental and animal welfare standards for food imports
  • Suspend the use of neonicotinoids until ‘it is proven they do not harm bees or other pollinators’
  • Develop ‘safe, effective, humane, and evidence-based’ ways of controlling bovine TB, including by investing in vaccines
  • Ban fracking
  • Set legally binding targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2040 and to zero by 2050
  • Restore government support for solar PV and onshore wind
  • Establish a £2bn flood prevention fund and improve existing flood defences
  • Set legally binding ‘natural capital targets’ on biodiversity, clean air and water
  • Protect England’s lakes, rivers and wetlands through reform of water management and higher water efficiency standards
  • Plant a tree for every UK citizen over the next ten years

Plaid Cymru is pledging to:

Plaid Cymru is pledging to:
  • Push the UK Government to maintain the same level of European funding for farming, including direct payments
  • Press for the UK Government to seek endorsement of each UK country before signing any trade deals


  • Reform the Red Meat Levy so funding for Hybu Cig Cymru stays in Wales
  • ‘Update and consolidate’ Welsh wildlife legislation with a new Wildlife Act for Wales
  • Introduce a new Climate Change Act, adopting ‘ambitious’ greenhouse gas and pollution reduction targets for 2030 and 2050

The Green Party is pledging to:

The Green Party is pledging to:
  • Implement an Environmental Protection Act
  • Invest in flood defences and natural flood management
  • Restore the uplands
  • Create more sustainable farming and land-use policies which focus on restoring the UK’s natural environment, including helping farmers grow food in a way that helps soil recover
  • Ensure that re-use and recycle is at the heart of the economy


  • Move towards an ecologically sustainable farming system – support family farms and re-localise food production, supporting local village communities
  • Improve animal welfare and animal protection
  • Refocus public funding for the rural economy
  • Create a new environmental regulator and court

The SNP and UKIP have yet to release their manifestos. We will update this article as and when they do.

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