Thank you to those who have written to me to raise concerns about the Government’s Agriculture Bill.
I agree the UK Government should be acting with much greater urgency given the climate and environmental emergencies. Instead, it appears to be focussed on paving the way for a UK-US trade deal that would weaken environmental and animal welfare standards.
The Agriculture Bill tabled by the Government fails to put legal force to any of their promises to respect the environment. It is welcome that the Government is proposing to change financial assistance for farmers to support public good rather than rewarding land ownership, but the same Bill lacks clarity about the environmental benefits it aims to promote.
Therefore, along with other Labour MPs, I will be voting to oppose the Agriculture Bill at its Second Reading. We will continue to oppose the bill until it incorporates strengthened environmental protections, including a commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions in the agricultural sector.