Lords continues line by line check of the Agriculture Bill

29 July 2020

The Agriculture Bill completed its committee stage in the House of Lords on Tuesday 28 July.

Members discussed topics including the creation of an International Trade Standards Commission, carbon emission targets and required standards for imported agricultural goods.

Report stage, a chance to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes, is yet to be scheduled.

Committee stage day six: Thursday 23 July

Members discussed subjects including consultation with the devolved administrations over animal identification and tracing, the establishment of a national soil monitoring programme and the export of farmed animals.

Committee stage day five: Tuesday 21 July

Members discussed a range of topics including provision of advice to those receiving financial assistance, the development of smallholdings and provision of a national food plan.

Committee stage day four: Thursday 16 July

Members discussed a range of subjects, including reducing climate change emissions, assistance for licensed abattoirs in areas without alternative provisions and ensuring new funding systems do not reduce overall financial support for agriculture activities.

Committee stage day three: Tuesday 14 July

Members discussed a range of issues including reducing air pollution, advancements in agriculture robotics and genetics, and financial support for businesses producing environmentally sustainable food.

Committee stage day two: Thursday 9 July

Members discussed changes on animal welfare standards, public access and consultation with the devolved administrations.

Committee stage day one: Tuesday 7 July

Members discussed suggested changes on a range of subjects including investment in wind farms on solar panels on green belt land and the incorporation of public access enhancements into financial plans for the protection or improvement of the environment.

Second reading: Wednesday 10 June

Members discussed farming support after the UK’s exit from the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), schemes to accelerate tree growing, animal welfare and a free trade deal with the US.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government.

Members taking part included the chair of the Woodland Trust, chair of the Royal Veterinary College and the president of Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.

Agriculture Bill

This bill aims to:

  • authorise expenditure agricultural purposes
  • define the law on direct payments following the UK's departure from the EU
  • modify retained EU legislation
  • provide for food security and food supply chains
  • confer powers to impose obligations on business purchasers
  • recognise associations of agricultural producers which may benefit from certain exemptions from competition law
  • define the law on fertilisers, traceability of animals, the red meat levy and agricultural tenancies
  • secure compliance with the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Agriculture.

Further information

Image: Henry Be / Unsplash

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