NEWS / Brexit

Sustain comments on the Queen's Speech - new bills on farming, fishing, the environment and trade

Parliament credit:pixabay

Parliament credit:pixabay

On publication of the new Agriculture Bill, Vicki Hird, Farm Campaign coordinator says

“This feels like deja vue and the Bill may not survive politically but Sustain welcomes the announcement of a new Agriculture Bill and the commitment to supporting farmers and land managers for the delivery of public goods – a vital break from the old system.

But we regret that the Bill has not been strengthened to secure an adequate, multiannual budget, protection for UK farming, food and animal welfare standards in trade deals and duties to deliver agro-ecological farming across the country.

The Bill description mentions ‘Powers to strengthen transparency and fairness in the supply chain’ but we need an actual duty to deliver strong supply chain regulation in the whole supply chain and for all farm sectors to stop abusive practices.”

"We welcome the announcement also of the new Environment Bill based on strong principles and new legally binding targets which are badly needed to drive action on our natural environment and ecosystems. Now we need action and resources for the new Office for Environmental Protection and existing environment agencies, as soon as possible, to safeguard and enhance the environment." 

Ruth Westcott, fishing coordinator at Sustain said

"On fishing, readers will feel a curious sense of déjà vu – the speech and background briefing that came with it promised to deliver ‘more sustainable fisheries for future generations’, just as the Fisheries Bill did – until it was dropped when parliament was prorogued. The speech offered warm sentiments about protecting our marine environment but no specific commitments or detail. Without detail we can have no confidence whatsoever that this government is serious about ending overfishing, and delivering the jobs and incomes that would come if our fish stocks recovered.

What’s also missing is a commitment to a ‘public money for public goods’ approach for our oceans, which could pay fishers for public goods including environmental protection, as farmers are.”

Kath Dalmeny, Sustain CEO Comments on the proposed Trade Bill "

A new trade bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech today but there was no mention of our representatives in Parliament having a say over our food, farming and fishing standards in future deals. The current government has suggested that trade talks could be accelerated and signed within months, but the public still has no idea what our fledgling trade negotiators might want from the deals – or be prepared to sacrifice. 
 
“UK consumers have already made it clear they are not prepared to sacrifice food standards in exchange for trade. Sustain calls on the UK government to commit formally to publishing their trade negotiating mandates in advance of trade talks and giving Parliament and the public the chance to have their say.”

 

Notes

  1. Details of the ‘new’ Bill can be accessed on page 19 on the Queens Speech briefing  here. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers is making further announcements tomorrow.
  2. Our Alliance briefings on Agriculture Bill issues and amendments to the original Bill published in 2018 can be found here. We will be pursuing similar amendments.  
  3. On Fishing here.
  4. On trade here.

14/10/2019
Brexit

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Brexit: We stand at a cross-roads. When the UK leaves the European Union, will our leaders uphold good standards for our food, farming, fishing and trade deals? And will they agree a sensible deal with the EU? We need to make sure that they do!

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