UK Agriculture Bill: Details of first post-Brexit powers revealed

(Title Image: ITV Wales)

The Welsh Government recently tabled a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) for the UK Agriculture Bill (pdf) – the first in what will be a series of transitional laws to set out how certain areas of policy will work across the UK after Brexit.

The Bill was introduced at Westminster by the UK/English Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The Agriculture Bill requires the consent of the Senedd because it relates to farming (a devolved responsibility) and because it will set some transitional powers for the Welsh Government as the UK leaves the EU.

Those transitional powers will include:

  • financial assistance for future farming schemes
  • the administration of direct payments to farmers
  • data collection relating to farming
  • providing assistance to farmers during “difficult or exceptional market conditions”
  • marketing standards and carcass categorisation in slaughterhouses

The Energy, Planning & Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths (Lab, Wrexham), says the powers are transitional so a “Made in Wales” approach to post-Brexit farming and land management support can be drafted in Welsh law. Detailed proposals for this are due to go out for consultation in spring 2019.

The Secretary adds that there are two “outstanding issues” with the UK Government which require further discussion and amendments – obligations under the World Trade Organisation agreement on Agriculture and the administration of the Red Meat Levy, the latter issue being raised in the Senedd last week.

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