I represented the United Kingdom at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 6 November in Brussels.
The Council opened with Member States responding to the Presidency’s questions on the sustainable use of pesticides. There was widespread agreement that National Action Plans are a good way for Member States to tailor their approach to meeting the objectives of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive, and widespread support for the principles of Integrated Pest Management. The UK welcomed the European Commission’s report on the sustainable use of pesticides, highlighting that Integrated Pest Management is the key to future crop protection.
The Presidency outlined the conclusions of the sustainable soil management conference held on 4-6 October in Tallinn, which highlighted the importance of managing soils and designing policies based on a strong evidence base. Responding to questions posed by the Presidency, the UK informed Council that soil health goes hand in hand with farming productivity.
Commissioner Hogan then updated the Council on EU agricultural trade.
Three further items were discussed under ‘any other business’:
the Slovakian and Czech delegations thanked Council for cooperation on the issue of dual quality foodstuffs
the Agriculture Ministers of the Visegrad Member States informed Council about the Renewable Energy Directive post-2020
the Agriculture Ministers of the Visegrad Member States informed Council about the BIOEAST initiative.
On 23 June 2016, the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. During this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: