- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Press Releases, Uncategorized
Mike Hedges welcomes Agriculture Bill and agrees that it is an important step in supporting Welsh farmers post-Brexit
The Agriculture Bill, introduced into Parliament today, is an important step forward that will enable the Welsh Government to support farmers in Wales post-Brexit, Chair of the Rural Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Committee.
Mike Hedges AM said… ‘Welsh Farmers need certainty when it comes to post Brexit support and this Bill gives them certainty. Due to the seasonal fluctuations associated with farming, farmers need to be clear indications of support and so on. The Bill provides Welsh Government with powers currently residing in Europe and will allow continuity of support at a time when people might be nervous about how support will be provided in the future. It is important that the support offered to Welsh Farmers is decided in Wales for the benefit of Welsh Farmers.’
The Bill will provide a legal base for future support for farmers as we transition away from the provisions in the Common Agricultural Policy. At the Cabinet Secretary’s request, the Bill includes significant new powers for Welsh Ministers.
These powers will be used until a Wales Agriculture Bill is introduced to the National Assembly. The intention is to bring forward a Bill by the end of this Assembly term. It allows the Welsh Government to start to deliver a ‘Made in Wales’ system which works for Welsh farmers, rural industries and our communities.
In July, the Cabinet Secretary launched a consultation on proposals for a new Land Management Programme to replace the Common Agricultural Policy in Wales post-Brexit. The consultation is open until 30 October.
The proposed powers for Welsh Ministers include:
• new financial powers for future schemes
• collection and sharing of data
• powers to intervene in exceptional market conditions
• setting of marketing standards
• modification of retained EU law relating to the financing, management and monitoring of payments to farmers including the CAP Basic Payment Scheme.
The Welsh provisions in the Bill closely mirror those intended for England. In addition to a small number of technical differences, Welsh powers also include an emphasis on supporting rural communities and businesses involved in supply chains.
In general, these are enabling powers which provide for Welsh Ministers to bring forward Wales-specific regulations to the Welsh Assembly for scrutiny. Regulations will not be brought forward until the consultation process has concluded. In “Brexit and our Land” a commitment was made to bring forward a white paper in spring 2019