On 14 June the EU Parliament voted not to block proposed changes to greening and other elements of BPS rules. The ban on the use of plant protection products on field-based Ecological Focus Area options (fallow/catch/cover crops and nitrogen fixing crops) will therefore come into force. No timescale has been given.
The Ag Committee’s resolution objecting to the EU Commission’s legislative changes were rejected as it did not win support of an absolute majority of all MEPs, i.e. at least 376 votes. Parliament voted by 363 votes in favour of the veto, 267 against and 43 abstentions, not enough to stop the changes from entering into force.
The NFU is clearly very disappointed with the outcome of the vote, however we will continue to work on how the proposed changes will be implemented. The NFU has already in recent months consulted with members and raised a number of implementation issues on this greening simplification package (which also covers a number of non-England/Wales and non greening specific issues) with Defra.
At this stage, the NFU suggests plan for the ban of plant protection products on field-based Ecological Focus Area options to come into force for BPS 2018.