I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
We are lucky in all four nations of the United Kingdom to have the best farmers in the world producing the best food in the world. This, the first comprehensive agriculture Bill for five decades, will provide those farmers with a new platform to modernise agriculture; to be able to produce, sell and export more food; and, at last, to receive the rewards that they deserve for their environmental work and the other public goods that they provide.
I am grateful for the enormous amount of hard work that has gone into the preparation of the Bill. I am grateful to the civil servants at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and I am grateful to those non-governmental organisations that contributed to our consultation paper “Health and Harmony”. Above all, I am grateful to our farmers, who are Britain’s backbone and on whom we are reliant for the food that we enjoy and for the health of our rural economy and society. Every measure in the Bill is designed to ensure that our farmers receive the support that they deserve to give us the healthy food that we enjoy and the beautiful rural environment on which we all depend.