CLA statement on the Queen’s Speech

21 June 2017

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has commented on the announcement of an Agriculture Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “This extensive list of Brexit Bills brings home the scale of the job involved in preparing for Brexit. It is vital that Ministers, Officials, MPs and organisations like the CLA work closely together to ensure that we deliver a smooth transition, reducing uncertainty wherever possible, and staying focused on helping businesses to invest, grow and create jobs.

“Getting Brexit right for farming is of fundamental importance to the rural economy and we welcome the fact it will be subject to detailed scrutiny during the passage of a dedicated Agriculture Bill.

“We will press for this Bill to deliver absolute certainty for farmers that the current system of support will continue funding at current levels for at least five years. This is the vital reassurance that we have campaigned for since the referendum, and will help farmers and rural businesses to make plans for the medium term.

“The Bill provides an opportunity to improve significantly the extensive and complex administrative systems required to deliver payments for schemes from farm support to environmental stewardship. By providing a forum for detailed debate on the future of farming and our natural environment it is also an opportunity for Parliament to discuss the future direction of policy and we look forward to providing leadership to those discussions.

“The Immigration Bill is a chance for Government to provide clarity on how it will ensure businesses across the rural economy have access to the workers they need.  We are confident the consensus will emerge for a pragmatic system that provides necessary control alongside providing businesses with opportunities to recruit the workers they need, from seasonal agricultural workers to tourism and the wider economy.”