Michael Gove took a swipe at Jeremy Corbyn he answered questions over the Government’s Agricultural Bill.
The Labour Party leader has spent his life campaigning for peace speaking out against military action and in lead up to the last general election in 2017 he was repeatedly quizzed over whether he would use Britain’s nuclear arsenal to defend the UK.
Speaking in a committee, Mr Gove was pressed by Labour MP for Sheffield Hillsborough, Angela Smith, who warned farming bodies such as the NFU would be concerned over whether the Agricultural Bill will provide “certainty”.
She said: “I go back to the point, the Common Agricultural Policy has evolved over many years.
“This is a significant departure, it is the biggest change in agricultural practice in 70 years, potentially, at least 40 years.
“Both of you are saying that it is going to be thrown to the electorate at the next election.”
Mr Gove stepped in saying: “No, I think the other thing, as George pointed out, the approach that we are taking is also the one that was taken by the Attlee government when it introduced the Agricultural Act in 1947.”
The Labour MP quickly interrupted adding that it was not 1947, claiming it was 2018 and things are “different now”.
Mr Gove replied: “Indeed, but your argument is that this is a constitutional novelty and as George pointed out it is in fact entirely consistent.”
Ms Smith insisted that she was asking the Environment Secretary about certainty for farmers.
The Secretary of State for Environment then took a swipe at the Labour Party leader.
He said: “The other thing is, Angela can you give certainty to anyone over public expenditure.
“Who knows what Jeremy Corbyn might want to do to our defence budget, were he to be elected.
“That is one of the things about democracy”.
Environment Minister George Eustice added: “The only certainty farmers have got in the EU is they will get what they are given by the EU.
“That’s the only certainty. What they have with the restoration of self-government in this area for the first time in half a century, is a certainty that elected parties, responding to their needs, their lobbying, the views of the electorate will be able to deliver.”
Speaking earlier, Mr Eustice added: “We have outlined a very clear approach of how we intend to move forward an Environmental Land Management Scheme, but obviously if the Labour Party or others at a general election had another view about how that should be constructed. It would be open to them to outline that in their manifesto and seek a mandate.”
Speaking about the Bill back in September, the Environment Secretary described the legislation as a “historic moment as we leave the EU and move towards a brighter future for farming.”
He said: “After nearly 50 years of being tied to burdensome and outdated EU rules, we have an opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit.
“This Bill will allow us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations.
“Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead.”