Skip to main content

Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, responds to the launch of the Government’s new Agriculture Bill.

Eamonn Ives, Researcher at Bright Blue, said:

“Last year, Bright Blue called for the gradual shift from the current, mainly acreage based rural payments system through the EU Common Agricultural Policy, towards one which rewards farmers, land mangers, and land owners for delivering ecosystem services, such as the provision of clean water, and carbon sequestration, amongst other environmental benefits and public goods. We also called for this to be phased in over a number of years, with Government committing to delivering the current level of rural payments until the middle of the next decade. Today’s Agriculture Bill is the first step to realising this new vision.”

“DEFRA should now lay the foundations for the introduction of a market-based, commissioning scheme so private and philanthropic funding as well as public funding can be leveraged to subsidise the rural economy and vital ecosystem services.”

Bright Blue published A greener, more pleasant land in November 2017. The co-authors of the report included Ben Caldecott, Sam Hall, and Eamonn Ives. Sam Hall is now a policy adviser to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.