Victory on Agriculture Bill

The Lords voted to keep food standards and protect family farms by amending the Agriculture Bill on Tuesday. The government managed to unite the National Farmers Union, consumer organisations, supermarkets and greens in lobbying for the Lords to defeat the government by 307/212. It was one of six government defeats in the Lords on what used to be considered rural, home turf for the Conservative Party. Continue reading “Victory on Agriculture Bill”

Our Agriculture Bill Amendments

This Agriculture Bill will shape how our countryside looks for the next generation. It will change the way money is spent on food and land management as the £20 billions of subsidies that flowed through the European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are replaced by a new system.  We do not support this bill, but we are doing our best to make some good of it. We are attempting to insert new clauses and substantial amendments, as well as co-signing a number of important amendments from other peers. The wording of our clauses and amendments are detailed below in topic groupings.

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Fishing limits – it’s everything obvious about human survival

The Fishing Bill is going through Parliament and I despair for common sense. The most basic rule of human survival on a finite planet is don’t take more than nature can provide. Yet, there are no binding legal commitments not to fish above scientifically recommended sustainable levels. As it stands the Fisheries Bill breaks the Conservative Manifesto promise to “a legal commitment to fish sustainably”. It also appears that that Ministers have no intention of keeping the legal commitment set out in Article 2 of the Community Fisheries Policy to set catch limits at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2020. Continue reading “Fishing limits – it’s everything obvious about human survival”

Withdrawal Bill needs to include scrutiny for any backwards steps on the environment

With all the Henry the Eighth powers, secondary legislation making powers, and judicial erasure powers that Parliament will have handed to the Government in the Withdrawal Bill and other Brexit legislation, Ministers are going to find themselves with an unprecedented ability to rewrite enormous aspects of UK law at will. The Commons will be effectively by-passed and the Lords may feel compelled to wave it all through, as happens with almost every piece of secondary legislation. For this reason, it is so important that we put a backstop into law now, to protect environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards. Continue reading “Withdrawal Bill needs to include scrutiny for any backwards steps on the environment”

Future Generations Bill introduced

Today, I am introducing the Future Generations Bill on behalf of independent peer, John Bird (founder of Big Issue). This Bill aims to look after the interests of the very young and those not yet born. In the words of John Bird, the world of tomorrow should: “… not simply be an accumulation of the half-arsed hopes and the short-term governmental thinking of days gone by.”

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