There are many measures announced in the Queen’s Speech, which are welcome. However, delivering a strong economy, increased productivity and thriving communities cannot be achieved without recognising the vital role the countryside has to play. Post-Brexit, the countryside has a key role to play in boosting our productivity and must get its fair share of funding for digital connectivity, regulations that support rural businesses, and services which meet the needs of rural communities.
A successful rural economy is vital for maintaining a living and working countryside. Without it there would not be the rural communities and landscapes as we know them today. It is therefore essential that the people who live and work in the countryside are able to engage fully in the economic life of the country.
The Queen’s Speech included 22 Bills and many of them will impact the countryside. The Environment Bill, launched only on Tuesday, will enter second reading next week. The Animal Welfare Bill is also making its way through the various stages in the House of Commons. The Agriculture Bill is yet to introduced, but this will no doubt be a significant piece of legislation that sets the direction for UK Agriculture post-Brexit.
The Countryside Alliance has already provided its thoughts on the Queen’s Speech and on the many Bills that hope to make their way through parliament. We will be watching closely and continue to work with Government and all parties, in both houses, to make sure that the voice of the countryside is reflected in any new legislation.
Read the full speech here.
Read the briefing notes here.