November 20, 2019
In a significant boost to the farming sector across the UK, a Conservative majority government would match the current annual budget available to farmers in every year of the next Parliament. This funding will support farmers as they move away from the EU’s bureaucratic, unfair and environmentally-damaging Common Agricultural Policy.
In England, the CAP will be replaced by new schemes to support farmers in their work to care for the environment, improve animal welfare, and provide other “public goods”. Improvements in productivity and overall sustainability will also be rewarded. A 7-year transition will help ensure farmers have time to plan and adjust. Policies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be set by the Devolved Administrations.
Ministers are also announcing the Conservatives will use the opportunity of leaving the EU to encourage the public sector to “Buy British”, in recognition of the quality of British food and in order to reduce our carbon footprint.
Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:
“Brexit provides a huge opportunity to transform British farming. By leaving the discredited Common Agricultural Policy, we can help British farmers become more productive at the same time as improving our natural environment.
“I am delighted to announce that a Conservative majority government would guarantee to match the current annual budget available to farmers in every year of the next Parliament. This gives farmers across the UK the reassurance they need to plan for the future.
“It’s only by getting Brexit done that we can create a bright new future for farming. The last thing farmers need is the prolonged uncertainty and chaos of two more referendums under Labour.
“Our new Environmental Land Management system to replace the CAP is a flagship environmental reform which will be crucial in our efforts to reverse the decline of nature and biodiversity and achieving our long term goal to ensure this is the first generation to hand on the natural environment in a better condition than we inherited it. This funding announcement provides a massive step forward in enabling us to deliver this reform successfully.
“But, we can only do any of this if we end the gridlock and deadlock in parliament with a Conservative majority Government.
“That’s why we had no choice but to call this election. And it’s why the choice that people now face as they cast their votes is simple: A Jeremy Corbyn Government that will promise the earth but deliver nothing but more Brexit delay and the chaos of two referendums. Or the Conservatives getting Brexit done, and moving on with other priorities like supporting British farming.”
This will ensure that farmers, growers and land managers have the time and security to adapt and prepare for life after the Common Agricultural Policy. In return for funding, they must farm in a way that protects and enhances our natural environment, as well as safeguarding high standards of animal welfare.
However, we know that farmers need stability, certainty and a smooth transition so we will not switch to our new system overnight. We will establish a seven-year transition period so that changes can be introduced gradually.
We will pay farmers for environmental stewardship including air and water quality, measures to tackle climate change and its effects, soil health, animal welfare, public access to the countryside and action to reduce flood risks. The ELM scheme will be piloted and delivered during the transition period.
Recognising the high quality of British produce, and in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the food we consume, we will also use the opportunity of leaving the EU to encourage the public sector to ‘Buy British’.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”