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Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2020

The Government are steadfast in their support for Welsh agriculture, and that is why we have provided the same level of funding for Welsh farmers in 2021-22 as they received in 2019: £337 million a year. That meets our manifesto commitment to guarantee the annual budget for farmers, a commitment that applies for the whole of this Parliament.

We all want to see farmers in Wales and right across the United Kingdom prosper outside the European Union, but how can my hon. Friend ensure that farmers in my Eddisbury constituency will be able to compete with Welsh farmers just over the border who will continue to receive their area payments in the early years of the agricultural transition, whereas all English farmers will see their basic payment scheme payments of £230 per hectare halved by 2024?

As a Government who are committed to the devolved settlement, we obviously will not be telling devolved Governments what they can do with the money; we will simply make sure the money is there. Of course, the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill has been brought forward to make absolutely certain that we do not see a situation where one part of the United Kingdom is able to compete in an unfair fashion with another part of the United Kingdom, and that is why I hope all Members will support that Bill.

My constituency in the Scottish borders is the second-highest recipient of common agricultural policy payments in the United Kingdom. Indeed, four of the top five recipients are in the devolved Administrations. How will the Government support the devolved Administrations with these payments in the future?

I am sure that my hon. Friend’s constituents, like farmers across the whole United Kingdom, are pleased that the British Government will not implement the 10% cut to agricultural payments, which is being brought about by the European Union. He will be pleased that we have used the most generous exchange rate possible to calculate what those payments will be. If he lived in Wales, he would be pleased to know that the UK Government are providing £1.3 billion of additional funding to the Welsh Government, and we look forward to seeing how much of that will be used on agriculture.