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Support for Farmers

Volume 699: debated on Thursday 22 July 2021

The agricultural transition plan sets out how support for farmers is changing. Instead of paying farmers subsidies based on the amount of land they own, we are introducing new schemes to incentivise good ecological practices. We will also offer grants to support new entrants to the sector, and to improve productivity and business planning.

The UK Government yesterday indicated that they were willing to break their own trade deal with the EU because of consequences that they told us would not happen. The EU may then very well implement tariffs on UK exports to the EU, as it has a right to do under the Tory-negotiated deal. That would be calamitous for our agricultural sector. The Minister will no doubt answer with reference to all the new deals that the International Trade Secretary is signing the UK up to, but just days ago the New Zealand Prime Minister warned that failing to keep to treaty commitments could threaten membership of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership. Will the Minister commit to covering the extra costs to farmers that this whole sorry mess is causing, or are the consequences of this ideological Brexit crusade to be borne by everyone but the UK Government and their Ministers?

I do not think it is any secret to the House that I was no Brexiteer, but I must say that for farming and fishing I think we have really gained from Brexit. In England, we do not think the environment can wait. We want to start paying our farmers public money for public goods; that is how they will be supported in the future.