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Government leaving Lake District farmers in the dark over stewardship agreements – MP

July 3, 2018 5:48 PM

Tim Farron Parliament Speech DEFRASouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has criticised the Government for refusing to commit to extending high-level stewardship and entry-level stewardship agreements for some farmers beyond next year.

Currently the schemes are used to give money to farmers to help them look after the environment.

But those farmers whose schemes run out before the UK leaves the EU have not been offered any replacement until at least 2020.

During a debate in Parliament last week, Tim challenged the Minister for Farming, George Eustice to continue the schemes until a new, better and bespoke scheme for the uplands can be introduced.

However, the minister refused to give any commitment that he would continue the schemes for those farmers whose schemes run out in the New Year.

Tim said: "Both farmers and environmentalist alike will be deeply concerned by the minister's refusal to confirm an extension of high-level stewardship and entry-level stewardship agreements.

"This would severely damage our local environment and at the same time potentially put farmers out of business.

"Whether it be not committing to extend stewardship schemes, or giving no guarantees about the future of direct payments, the Government seem to be happy to keep our hard-working farmers in the dark."