Consultation will be an opportunity to influence the shape of Domestic Farm Policy
Published November 24th, 2017
In the New Year we can expect a draft Agricultural Bill to take shape which will set about the alignment of outgoing EU legislation with emerging domestic needs. The Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, last summer, is required to set out new primary legislation, over and above the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, and will go beyond simply replicating current direct EU legislation within UK law.
As well as addressing anomalies arising from the carry-over of certain EU legislation the Agricultural Bill will also cover the miscellaneous items that agriculture acts have historically tended to cover (such as tenancy reform) and it will provide Government with the powers to introduce and make regulations for a new agricultural policy. The consultation, which is likely to take place in the first part of the New Year, will be an important opportunity to provide input into the shape of new statute. It will be the first opportunity in 70 years to rethink the aims and basic building blocks of agricultural policy, which have been founded in Europe following the last domestic bill in post-war 1947.
The consultation should be far reaching, touching on some of the biggest challenges that we face; such as climate change, farm support, public health, soil protection, wildlife protection and farm animal welfare.
“The potential scope of the draft bill and the Minister’s recruitment of ‘free thinkers’ is perhaps a significant risk to the intensity of focus on the important issues from a farm perspective. Taking the time to voice the industry’s needs will therefore be vital”, commented Mark.