Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
In accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement, I wish to notify you that a further meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was held on 16 May.
The meeting was attended by Edwin Poots MLA, Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland Executive (Chair), George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK Government; Victoria Prentis MP, Minister of State, Defra, UK Government; Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Scottish Government; Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy, and Biodiversity, Scottish Government.
At the meeting we revisited the Ukraine crisis and the impacts for the production costs of fertiliser, feed, and fuel. We also discussed pet quarantine where I pressed the UK Government for assurances quarantine facility spaces would be available to all nations of the UK regardless of policy differences.
The UK Government (UKG) provided a paper outlining their latest position regarding preparations for border controls and confirmed no further import controls would be introduced in 2022. I outlined my concerns that once again checks were being delayed without prior consultation with the Devolved Governments, which has become a recurring pattern of behaviour on UKG’s part. I also noted the concerns of my Chief Veterinary Officer regarding the biosecurity implications of the delay, as well as the disappointment stakeholders have regarding the lack of a level playing field between importers and exporters, which places domestic producers at a competitive disadvantage.
The UK Government outlined their future legislative programme and proposals emerging from the Queen’s speech which included a Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill; an Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill; a Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill and a Procurement Bill.
The Scottish Government concluded by presenting their framework for the future of agriculture policy in Scotland which focuses on land reform, nature restoration and sustainable farming initiatives. Scotland is pursuing a similar path to Wales with a system of base support and additional conditional payments based on the climate and biodiversity outcomes.
We agreed our next meeting would be held in person at the Royal Welsh Show on Wednesday 20 July, when I plan to outline future Welsh agricultural proposals.
A communique regarding this meeting will be published on the UK Government website at