Agriculture Bill to return to parliament this month

8th January 2020

Web tractor istock

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Agriculture ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Wildlife & Habitats ,
  • England ,
  • UK government


Mark Mansell

Environmental and animal welfare standards will be set out in a new Agriculture Bill when it is introduced to parliament later this month, the UK government has confirmed today.

This will move Britain away from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, which scientists say has led to a drastic rise in pesticide use, irrigation expansion, and destruction of pasture lands.

The bill will propose a new approach where farmers and land managers are paid for delivering 'public goods', such as enhancing biodiversity, tackling climate change and raising animal welfare standards.

Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, environment secretary Theresa Villiers said the proposals would be “one of the most important environmental reforms for 40 years“.

“We want our new scheme to deliver value for money as well as boosting sustainable productivity to support farmers in their work of feeding the nation, she continued.

We have the potential to create a virtuous circle between agriculture, tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity, and securing investment in our rural economy.“

In England, there will be a seven-year transition period for farmers to adjust to the changes, during which direct payments from the Common Agricultural Policy will be gradually phased out.

The government will guarantee the current annual budget for farmers in every year of parliament to provide support in the lead up to, and during, the transition.

Throughout 2020, It will also seek views from farmers and land managers in England on how the future Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme can best work for them.

The Agriculture Bill was originally introduced to parliament in September 2018, however, the Brexit impasse and subsequent calling of a general election derailed progress.

“Our strong British food brand is built on the high standards to which we hold ourselves, Villiers continued.

“We can maintain and indeed enhance UK standards as we negotiate new trading relationships with friends and neighbours in the EU and leading global economies.“

Image credit: ©iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK public wants more involvement in planning process, IEMA research finds

Three in five British adults want more public involvement in the planning system, which could be at odds with Labour’s plans to boost economic growth, IEMA research has found.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Rivers and waterways across England and Wales are increasingly polluted by sewage spills. What is causing the crisis and what is being done to tackle it? Huw Morris reports

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

In January, the Welsh government consulted on a proposed white paper, 'Securing a Sustainable Future: Environmental Principles, Governance and Biodiversity Targets for a Greener Wales'.

31st May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close