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Tories promise to protect £3bn ag budget in next Parliament

The Conservatives have promised to protect the current annual £3bn budget for UK agriculture in every year of the next Parliament.

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Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers
Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers
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Tories promise to protect £3bn ag budget in next Parliament

The party has also said it will do more to encourage the public sector to buy British food after Brexit in ‘recognition of its quality’ and in order to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.

 

Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “I am delighted to announce a Conservative majority Government would guarantee to match the current annual budget available to farmers in every year of the next Parliament.

 

“This gives farmers across the UK the reassurance they need to plan for the future.”


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The move was welcomed by Welsh Conservative spokesman for rural affairs and Farmers Guardian Brexit hub columnist Andrew RT Davies.

 

He said: “This funding commitment will provide the agricultural industry in Wales with confidence and stability, while also demonstrating how important farming is in the Conservative vision for our country moving forward post-Brexit.”

 

Labour has already committed to maintaining the £3bn annual budget.

 

Certainty

 

CLA president Mark Bridgeman also gave a warm reception to the Conservative announcement.

 

He said: “If elected, this pledge would provide much needed certainty to farmers across the country, and should be seen as a first step towards the long-term security we have been calling for since the EU referendum.

 

“Farmers work incredibly hard to provide high-quality food for the nation and beyond, as well as leading the fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

 

“It is now vital that the political parties go a step further, guaranteeing British farmers will be supported during future trade negotiations so that they are not undercut by cheap imports produced to lower standards.”

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