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Developing A UK Policy Framework for Farming Post-Brexit

A recent UK Farming Roundtable has agreed a list of principles that it believes should guide policy development and implementation once the UK leaves the EU.

The statement calls on the four UK Governments to “establish and maintain regular, formal and cooperative arrangements to manage policy, legislation and delivery of regulation across the UK” and that a priority should be to “take every step to retain and protect a single market access for food, agricultural commodities, live animals and plant products throughout the UK.”

The agreement came at a recent meeting of the UK Farming Roundtable in Northern Ireland chaired by NFU President Minette Batters and attended by NFU Scotland Vice President Gary Mitchell.

A UK policy framework for farming should include the following:


-    The current devolution settlement of policy and regulation to the constituent parts of the United Kingdom should be respected and maintained.

-    The UK’s various Governments, Parliaments and regulators should take every step to retain and protect a single market access for food, agricultural commodities, live animals and plant and plant products throughout the UK.

-    In developing distinct agricultural policies to replace the Common Agricultural Policy, Farming Ministers across the UK should ensure that potential differences in application of agricultural policy should not adversely impact on trade within the UK.

-    Farming Ministers across the UK and agricultural departments must establish and maintain regular, formal and cooperative arrangements to manage policy, legislation and delivery of regulation across the UK economic area. A guiding principle should be that no single country determines or curtail UK policy in the rest of the UK.

-    No part of the UK should be able to act, or avoid action, that threatens to curtail access for other parts of the UK to third country markets, or that question the UK’s adherence to its international agreements.

-    We welcome the government’s commitment to provide the same cash total in funds for farm support as is currently paid out under the CAP.  In the longer term, with the development of a new domestic agricultural policy, at least the same level of public investment in agriculture should be retained.

Notes to editor:

  • The signatories to the statement are: NFU, NFY Cymru, NFU Scotland, CLA, British Poultry Council, LEAF, National Sheep Association, Scottish Land and Estates, Soil Association, Tenant Farmers Association, Ulster Farmers Union, National Pig Association, British Egg Industry Council, RABDF, National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs. The UK Farming Roundtable met at UFU Offices in Belfast in early May.
  • The UK Farming Roundtable also agreed that ministers, governments and regulators need to maintain and develop common frameworks across a broad range of policy activity including air quality emissions, biotechnology deployment, organic farming, animal health – movement of animals and control of disease, plant protection products – maximum residues, marketing, use and licensing, minimum standards on specific commodities, food labelling - consumer food labels, import and movement of plants, pest outbreaks, plant variety rights.
  • In addition, while agreeing that agricultural support arrangements should be substantially devolved, the Roundtable is concerned that the potential for very different approaches across the UK may undermine the UK single market. Hence it would expect that common agreed frameworks are necessary.
  • Not only will this be important for those 575 cross-border farms in the UK, but also for all farm businesses wherever they farm. In this context we would also urge that the UK’s regulators also seek to harmonise their implementation of common UK regimes. This should also apply in respect to regimes where policy is devolved, for example to ensure that best regulatory practice in one part of the UK is applied as widely as possible.

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 66/18


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