Reform UK releases ‘contract’ for 2024 election

The party’s manifesto for farming focuses on promises to ‘help farmers farm’.

nigel farage

Reform UK has released its manifesto for the general election in July, following the Conservatives, Labour, Green Party and Liberal Democrats last week.

The party has called its manifesto a ‘contract’ with the British people.

Its election promises are split into reforms it says are needed in the first 100 days after the general election, and thereafter.

‘Taking advantage of Brexit’

Reform UK’s ‘contract’ claims British farming needs reform to take advantage of Brexit.

It says farming is in “crisis” and food security is at risk, criticising the current government’s policy of paying farmers for environmental goods.

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‘Government subsidies force farmers to meet environmental targets instead of producing food,’ the manifesto reads.

‘Fuel and fertiliser costs have spiralled. Farmers have to deal with huge amounts of paperwork. 

‘Farmland is being lost to re-wilding and solar farms. 

‘High energy costs and supermarket price fixing has pushed many farmers to bankruptcy. Rural communities are dying.’

READ MORE: Labour manifesto: ‘Food security is national security’

READ MORE: Conservative manifesto: What does it promise for farmers?

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First 100 days

Should the party be elected, it pledges the following actions in the first 100 days after the election.

Farming budget: The farming budget increased to £3 billion, a focus on smaller farms, and keeping farmland in use.

The party says it would also bring young people into farming and boost rural economy and culture.

Plus, it promises to increase innovation and diversification, helping ‘farmers to farm’.

Environmental policies: Scrap climate-related farming subsidies – replacing them with direct payments.

Country sports: Protect country sports, which the party says ‘increase investment in conservation of our environment. They boost rural jobs, communities and local economies.’

READ MORE: Lib Dems promise an extra £1bn a year for ELMS

READ MORE: Green manifesto: Party would triple funding for nature-friendly farming 

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After the first 100 days

Reform UK makes the following promises for after the first 100 days in office.

Supermarkets: Grant powers to the Competitions and Markets Authority to ensure fair pricing. 

Reform UK says it also wants to help farmers sell their produce directly to the public, and change planning laws to support farm shops with zero business rates.

Buy British: Increase food security by targeting 70% of the UK’s food being produced in the UK.

Taxpayer funded organisations should source 75% of their food from the UK, with clear food labelling. 

Smaller food processors and abattoirs given tax breaks and other incentives to cut transport costs and promote animal welfare.

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READ MORE: General election 2024: Which party will do most for British farming?

Paperwork: Cut red tape from HMRC and the British Cattle Movement Service.

New entrants: Subsidised courses at agricultural colleges and apprenticeships to help young people learn farming ‘craft’ and business management.

Future technology & fertiliser supplies: Access to new technology to boost production and cut costs.

UK food security also depends on fertiliser supply and production, the manifesto notes.

The party says its agricultural pledges will cost £2 billion per annum. 

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