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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 2:46 pm on 28th January 2020.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 2:46 pm, 28th January 2020

I thank my right hon. Friend for his intervention and agree wholeheartedly with him.

Direct payments have made some really important environmental projects happen across Northern Ireland—projects that probably would never have seen the light of day and that tie into the Government’s policies on the environment and climate change. As I said to Ben Lake earlier, it is not possible to stop those environmental schemes, especially where tree-planting is involved, because it is important that a number of organisations continue that work over time. The National Trust has made a commitment to plant trees in 500 of the properties for which it has responsibility. The Ulster Farmers Union and the National Farmers Union are encouraging their members to do likewise. It is vital to ensure that those schemes continue. We cannot remove a tree-planting scheme and turn the land back to agricultural land; it is not possible.