Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:13 pm on 11th February 2020.

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George Dunn:

Minister, you would be surprised to hear me say that we are absolutely content and there are no other changes that we would want to make, and I am not going to say that. There are elements that we think need to be added—for example, what we were talking about earlier in terms of the provision for farm business tenancies, for encouraging longer-term lets, to give landlords the option of ending those early, but only for those who are letting for a long time. We think that the provisions in relation to tenants’ access to diversification, financial assistance and fixed equipment need to be extended to include 1995 Act tenancies.

I noticed that a question was raised by a Member on Second Reading about widening the franchise of succession to include nephews, nieces and grandchildren, which was not adequately answered by the Secretary of State. Perhaps there is an amendment that could be brought to look at widening the franchise. Very often, it is the nephews and nieces and grandchildren, rather than the sons and daughters, of farmers, who are the active individuals. So there are certain changes that we will promote through amendments to the Bill.