Agricultural Transition Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 30th November 2020.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:31 pm, 30th November 2020

British farming genuinely is the best in the world, fundamentally because of the family farming unit upon which it is based. The Government’s plan to deliver environmental goods through the environmental land management scheme is good and laudable, and we support it. However, the transition whereby, in a revolutionary way, people will lose half their income in three years’ time—when the average livestock farmer is reliant on basic payment for 60% of their revenue—will lead to hundreds upon hundreds of those family farms going out of business and therefore not being in a position to deliver those environmental goods by 2028. The landscape of the Lake district and the Yorkshire dales is shaped by centuries of family farming. By accident, the Government could undo all of that in a few short years—even months—so will the Secretary of State think again, not penny pinch, and make sure that the basic payment is rolled over in full until the point at which the environmental land management scheme is available for everyone?