Chair: Helen Chesshire, Woodland Trust
Vice Chair: Tom Lancaster, RSPB
Policy and Campaigns Manager: Zoe Davies, Link
Link’s Agriculture Group continues to focus on the impacts of Brexit on farming and land management - specifically the replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy as the UK leaves the EU. The Group continues to work in partnership with Greener UK, Sustain, and with our colleagues in the devolved countries through Environment Links UK, to ensure we advocate effectively for the best possible outcomes for post-Brexit agriculture policy across the UK.
Members of the Group are working closely with colleagues at Greener UK to influence the Agriculture Bill during its passage through the Commons. Our briefing for Second Reading recognised the positive aspects of the Bill – namely that it does allow for payment of public money for delivery of public goods – and sets out our priorities for amendments. These include: the need for a long-term funding settlement to give farmers confidence in the new scheme; enshrining duties in the Bill, not just powers; the establishment of a regulatory baseline and binding objectives; and ensuring that payments to increase productivity do not undermine the delivery of public goods. We are preparing for the Bill to return to the Commons for Report Stage, and subsequently to enter the House of Lords. Follow the progress of the Agriculture Bill and amendments as they are tabled here.
Alongside its work on the Agriculture Bill, the Group is developing its thinking on the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) – the key policy that will flow from the Bill. It is essential, for farmers, wildlife and future generations, that Government gets this critical new policy right, so in the coming months Link will be advocating its position to Defra on complex aspects of ELMS such as governance, monitoring and evaluation, regulation and enforcement.
With Environment Links UK colleagues, Link is also seeking to influence the review of fair allocation of funding for domestic farm support across the UK. The review is limited to allocation of a small pot of ‘convergence funding’ from 2020 up to the end of this parliament, but it will have significant implications for funding allocations in the long-term.
For further information, contact Zoe Davies, Link’s Policy and Campaigns Manager.
Last updated: 29 March 2019
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