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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 13th February 2020.

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Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Conservative, Scarborough and Whitby 11:30 am, 13th February 2020

This question is primarily for Mr Render, but others may wish to chip in. In earlier evidence sessions, we heard some of the frustrations with the inflexibility of cross-compliance, such as the three-crop rule or rules on hedge cutting. In particular, farmers tell me that it can sometimes be frustrating that rules on the application of slurries and manures are based on the calendar, not on the particular climatic conditions of a season or the situation on a particular farm. Do you feel that the powers that you will have will allow you the flexibility—even in-year flexibility—to enable you to carry out those sorts of operations under the best conditions, and at the same time to understand your obligations in the way that we implement the nitrate regulations and water framework directive-type regulations that we take over? Do you feel that you can get the balance right between the flexibility and the obligations to the environmentQ ?