Speaking from Strasbourg in the past week, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that as the vote on Wednesday last to reject the Nature Restoration Law outiright did not pass, the focus now moves to the trilogue process between the EU Commission, the Council and Parliament.
“The vote for outright rejection only lost by 12 votes (324 to 312), the reality is that the original EU Commission version of the law has in effect been pushed back. Arising from its rejection at three EU Parliament Committees, significant changes and amendments have been made, particularly in relation to rewetting and more changes are needed,” Tim Cullinan said.
“The EU Council recently agreed a much-modified version of the law. While we would have concerns around this version it would address some of the concerns but more changes are needed,” he said.
Mr Cullinan said there was a real and genuine concern that there will be significant ramifications from passing the law in its current format.
“There is still a lot of ambiguity around what the law will mean and with no impact assessments undertaken at Member State level the impact on farm incomes, food production and farming practices is unclear,” he added.
“The debate became about whether people are for or against nature which is a misrepresentation of the situation. The detail of the proposed ‘law’ is the issue”.
Some campaigners in Europe described last Wedneday’s vote against ‘killing the bill’ as a ‘huge social victory’.
Meanwhile, an open letter signed by 6,000 scientists said opponents of the law “not only lack scientific evidence, but even contradict it”.