Agriculture Bill completes Commons stages

May 14, 2020

This is the first time in history MPs have voted electronically on legislation.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 13 May), MPs voted electronically as the Agriculture Bill completed its remaining stages in the House of Commons. The Bill will now move to the House of Lords.

The introduction of this Bill on 16 January gave us the opportunity to make improvements to the original Agriculture Bill introduced in 2018, taking into account feedback from those working in the agricultural sector and reflecting on the scrutiny of the House of Commons. This Bill maintains our flagship policy of public money for public goods, but now includes more of a focus on food production, with a legal obligation on the Government to produce an assessment of our food security.

We know that environmentally-friendly farming and food production can go hand in hand, and the Bill supports farmers to do what they do best: produce high-quality, home-grown food and goods.

The Agriculture Bill provides the legislative framework for a seven year agricultural transition, giving farmers time to adapt to the new system and enabling them to take advantage of the new opportunities this Bill provides.

Secretary of State, George Eustice said:

“Now that we have left the EU we have the opportunity to design a policy that is not only right for the farmers of today but which is also right for the farmers of tomorrow.

“This Bill will bring the biggest change in agricultural policy in half a century. We have shown the world new ways to farm before and we have some of the very best farmers.

“This is our chance to innovate and set the pace once again, so that a decade from now the rest of the world will to be coming here to the UK to see how sustainable food production is done.”

We are excited to have reached the next step in the Agriculture Bill’s journey. This means that the Bill is on track to pass by the summer, so we can start to move to a new fairer agricultural system in England.

Further information

Read the Secretary of State’s blog in the Farmer’s Guardian.