On 21st June, the Queen launched the Government’s programme, devoid of its most controversial manifesto commitments, which included eight Brexit Bills on:
- Agriculture – to replace the CAP
- The Repeal – of the European Communities Act 1972 and copy and paste the contents into UK law
- Customs – to replace EU customs rules and allow the UK to impose its own tariffs (significant for agricultural exports and imports)
- Trade – to operate our own trade policy (this may face opposition from soft Brexit MPs wanting to keep the UK in the EU customs union)
- Immigration – to allow the UK to set its own immigration policy (vitally important for the fruit & veg, poultry and processing sectors).
- Fisheries – to take control of UK fishing waters and to set fishing quotas.
- Nuclear safeguards – to set up a nuclear safety regime (currently regulated by Euratom)
- International sanctions – to allow the UK to apply its own international sanctions
Of particular interest to InsideTrack readers is the Agriculture Bill. This is the first chance for a British Government to design a wide-ranging reform of agriculture policy since 1947 (the last substantive Agriculture Act). It presents a once in a generation opportunity to shape and sustain a profitable farming sector without (we assume) CAP levels of direct support and EU border protection arrangements.
The Government’s says that:
“The Bill will ensure that after we leave the EU we have an effective system in place to support UK farmers and protect our natural environment. The Bill will:
- provide stability to farmers as we leave the EU;
- protect our precious natural environment for future generations;
We will see.