George Eustice – speeches and questions

George Eustice MP recent speeches

  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Fishing Industry: Tariffs (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Before I turn to the question, the tragic loss of the Joanna C on Saturday is a sad reminder of the dangers that our fishermen face every time they go out to sea. We are all incredibly grateful for the bravery and dedication of the Coastguard, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and all those involved in the search. Our thoughts are with the families of Adam Harper and Robert Morley, and...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Fishing Industry: Tariffs (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: We have been working with the fishing industry and local authorities to ensure that they have the capacity in place to employ the environmental health officers necessary to issue both the catch certificates and the environmental health certificates. We have about 1,000 officers now who can issue export health certificates for fish. It is the case that there are some concerns in Scotland,...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Fishing Industry: Tariffs (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: I always advise people to look at what I actually said, rather than at the Twitter attacks on what I might have said. I never said that specialist sheep farmers and crofters should diversify into beef; I explicitly said that some of the 7,000 mixed beef and sheep enterprises might choose to produce more beef and less lamb if the price signal suggested that they should.
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Fishing Industry: Tariffs (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Tariffs on fish, particularly the fish that we export, are typically far lower than on many agrifoods. The average tariff on the shellfish that we export is about 8%. Obviously, we would prefer there to be zero tariffs on all goods, and that is the offer that the Government have made to the European Union—in both directions—but the fishing sector generally recognises that, if it needed to...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Food Security (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: We have worked with industry to ensure that the capacity is in place to issue export health certificates, and we have been contacting meat processors, fish processors and others in the sector to ensure that they are prepared for the new administration that will be required, and of course we continue to work on plans to ensure that goods flow at the border.
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Plastic Pollution (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: The Government have banned the use of microbeads in cosmetics and banned the use of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and the 5p charge for single-use plastic bags has reduced their use by 95% in the main supermarkets. We are increasing the charge to 10p and extending it to all retailers. In addition, we are seeking powers in the Environment Bill to require similar charges for...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Plastic Pollution (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point, and I congratulate the Chevening and St Lawrence primary schools on their interest in this. All hon. Members cannot help but have noticed the rising awareness within all our schools of the scourge of plastics in particular and the action that must be taken. In my own constituency, I have been contacted by schools such as Lanner, Troon, Treleigh,...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Pollinators (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: The national pollinator strategy sets out the actions we are taking with partners to protect pollinators. It includes dealing with habitat loss and the potential harm from pesticide use, invasive species and climate change. Our future agriculture policies will help to improve biodiversity and support habitats for pollinators, building on existing agri-environment measures to enable many more...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Pollinators (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: That sounds like a very interesting project, and I would certainly be willing to meet my right hon. Friend and representatives in Kent to discuss it. Our future environmental land management scheme will encourage the creation of habitats for pollinators, and our local nature recovery plans, to be advanced by local authorities, will also have a role to play.
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Sheep Farmers (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Lamb producers have enjoyed a very good year in 2020. A significant increase in lamb imports by China, combined with tighter supply globally, has contributed to high prices and confidence in the sector, with prevailing market prices typically 10% to 15% higher than last year. However, we recognise that historically the lamb sector has been more reliant on the EU market than most other farming...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Sheep Farmers (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: I can say that 18 months ago, in preparation for the first potential no-deal, the Government, working with the Rural Payments Agency, had developed detailed plans to be able to support the sector in the short term. Those plans are still there and still ready to be activated, but in the medium term, in the event of there being no further negotiated outcome, we will be helping the sector...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Poor Air Quality: BAME Communities (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Air pollution can be harmful to everyone; however, some people are more affected than others. My Department has commissioned research into inequalities of exposure to air pollution, and monitors emerging evidence investigating air-quality impacts on BAME communities. That research has shown that those BAME groups are disproportionately affected by poor air quality, partly because larger...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Poor Air Quality: BAME Communities (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Of course we talk with our colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on all matters relating to air quality in some urban areas. We intend to take action through the Environment Bill by setting new targets on air quality. One of the targets that we are investigating relates to the impact...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Since the last session of DEFRA oral questions, Royal Assent has been granted to both the Agriculture Bill and the Fisheries Bill. The Agriculture Act 2020 gives us the powers to transform the way in which we support farmers and build back nature in the farmed landscape, while the Fisheries Act 2020 gives us powers to become an independent coastal state, and decide who can fish in our waters...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes a very important point. The Government support extending maximum penalties and offences for animal cruelty. We are supporting a private Member’s Bill currently going through this House to achieve that. Should that not go through, we will introduce legislation in a later Session in this Parliament in order to do that. We are also working with local authorities and others...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: The Hunting Act was brought forward by the Labour party, and there is now a consensus across this House that it should remain. Where there is a breach of that legislation, obviously the police can investigate, and they do.
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: The Government believe that the Hunting Act is sufficient. Where there are breaches, it should be enforced. It is for individual landowners to choose, as they always have done, whether they would like hunts on their land.
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: For now, the residual bit of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund continues to be something that fishing communities can access, but we will be replacing the EMFF with a domestic fund, and we will say more on this in due course. I am aware of the REAF project in my hon. Friend’s constituency. There are great opportunities for fishing communities along the east coast to benefit from our...
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: Under the Environment Bill, we will have a 25-year environment improvement plan that addresses issues such as air quality. There will also be targets set for air quality under the Bill.
  • Environment, food and rural affairs: Topical Questions (26 Nov 2020)
    George Eustice: My hon. Friend and neighbour in Cornwall makes a very good point. As a fellow Cornish MP, of course I want to see the interests of the Cornish fishing industry prosper in the future. In many cases, we have had a profoundly unfair share of stocks in the Celtic sea, and that will now change.