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Incorporation of EU legislation governing the CAP direct payment schemes

Part of Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 28th January 2020.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 12:45 pm, 28th January 2020

Yes—my hon. Friend makes a very important point. As we chart a new course on agriculture policy, one key objective set out in the Agriculture Bill, which was recently published, was on climate change. It is absolutely the case that we should support farmers to farm more sustainably and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and that will be a matter for future policy. This Bill does not envisage radical change compared with what has gone before. Some provisions—the so-called “greening provisions” that are brought across by the Bill—will potentially have a modest impact on our carbon emissions and climate change, but addressing that issue properly will be a matter for future policy.

Clause 1(3) sets out the regulations that are covered. That includes the direct payments regulation, apart from article 13. Article 13 of the direct payments regulation is still there in retained EU law, because the withdrawal agreement Bill brought that element of the regulation across, so we do not need to do that a second time. We need that state aid provision because the withdrawal agreement committed us to an equivalent approach to the EU for this year. There is also the Commission delegated regulation (EU) No. 639/2014, which supplements the direct payments regulation, and Commission implementing regulation (EU) No. 641/2014, which lays down rules for the application of the direct payments regulations.