On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received two written answers from Government, about agriculture in future trade deals, and the Agriculture Bill:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL71
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to exclude agriculture from future trade deals.
HL70 (ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Agriculture Bill will be introduced to Parliament.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about post-Brexit trade deals and agriculture”
On 2nd May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled, on rural crime. The answer, his follow-up, and those of other Members are reproduced below:
Farming Communities: Rural Crime
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of rural crime on farming communities.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government what is being done to tackle hare coursing and rural crime”
On 12th February 2019 Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked the Government “what plans they have to achieve net zero carbon emissions in farming.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, one point that the NFU made is that our wonderful British beef farmers are already two and a half times more efficient than the world average and four times more efficient compared with the beef from South America, so surely one of the most important things that Her Majesty’s Government could do is to put their weight behind British beef farming. What plans do they have for that sector post Brexit? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans for beef farming sector after Brexit”
On 23rd October 2018 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a question on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans, on Brexit and food security. A transcript of the follow-up question and those of other Members is below:
Brexit: Food Security
Tabled by The Lord Bishop of St Albans
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of food security following Brexit.
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: I beg leave to ask the Question in the name of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans, who has been detained on other business.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Gardiner of Kimble) (Con): My Lords, Defra regularly assesses the security of food supply and has well-established relationships with industry on supply chain resilience. The UK has a high degree of food security, as shown by the UK Food Security Assessment. This is built on access to diverse sources of supply, including our domestic production. I declare my farming interests as set out in the register. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of food after we leave the EU.
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about impact of Brexit on food security”
On 24th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government to a question on seasonal agricultural workers:
The Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide visas for seasonal agricultural workers and to ensure that there will be a sufficient number of such workers to meet harvest need. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about visas for seasonal agricultural workers to meet harvest need”
On 18th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on food security and farm payments after Brexit.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what steps they are taking to ensure sufficient levels of food security following any change in payments to UK farmers after Brexit. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about food security and farm payments after Brexit”
On the 23 January 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question about food security:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans : To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of food consumed in the UK was imported from the EU in (1) 1990, (2) 1995, (3) 2000, (4) 2005, (5) 2010, (6) 2015, and (7) 2017. [HL4655]
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks how much food consumed in UK is imported”
On 26th June 2017, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Alan Smith contributed to the Queen’s Speech debate on business, economic affairs, energy, transport, environment and agriculture. He focused on the impact of Brexit on agriculture and fishing, and on the environment, calling for legislation on clean air.
Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I will confine myself to a few comments on agriculture and the environment. In doing so, I need to declare my interest as president of the Rural Coalition.
As regards agriculture and food, Brexit poses one of the greatest challenges to future food production. The UK produces some of the highest-standard food in the world and, indeed, some of the finest food. In our negotiations, it will be crucial that we do not sacrifice food quality, animal welfare or environmental protection as part of those multi-sector trade agreements which will form the foundation of future international economic partnerships. Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2017: Bishop of St Albans on farming, fishing and the environment”
On Thursday 23rd March 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Teverson “That this House takes note of the Report from the European Union Committee Brexit: environment and climate change (12th Report, HL Paper 109).” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, a number of questions have already been posed, and I pity the Minister for having to go through them in some detail. We heard earlier that we in this Chamber tend to be gloomy, and now we should be cheerful. I am neither; I am just puzzled—which is not a new experience.
From reading the report, which is a model of clarity, as are most of the Brexit reports that come from the various committees, it seems that, as we peel back the layers of the onion, we end up with more layers. I realise that that sounds paradoxical, but it seems to get more and more complex. The other night in the debate on Brexit and Gibraltar I tried to ask some questions about stress testing, to which I got no answer. So I shall try again, focusing very briefly on just one or two questions. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about farming and rural policy post-Brexit”
On Thursday 2nd February Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they will put in place following Brexit to safeguard environmental standards and biodiversity.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, we are all reassured that EU environmental legislation is going to be enshrined within UK law, but we will probably be coming out of the single market and entering into a series of trade negotiations with, for example, the United States. Trade negotiations are just that: we will have to make compromises. Will the Minister assure the House that we will not be producing our food to lower standards or consuming food that has been produced more cheaply by undercutting our industry—for example, chicken washed in chlorine and beef reared on growth hormones? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks for reassurances on food standards post-Brexit”