In reaction to Defra Secretary Michael Gove's speech this morning at the Oxford Farming Conference, CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said: "The Defra Secretary did not provide new insight today into future policies affecting agriculture, the environment or rural businesses. This is unsurprising as we await the outcomes of MPs' continuing debates about the Prime Minister's proposed Withdrawal Agreement.
"What farmers, land managers and rural businesses need urgently is a commitment from Government to long-term funding for the policies in the new Agriculture Bill. Profitable farming can go hand in hand with delivering public goods such as enhancing the environment but only through long-term business planning that must be backed by the certainty of multi-annual investment by Government, which should include direct investment in skills and productivity.
"As MPs return to Parliament next week we urge them to work together to avoid No Deal. We agree with the Defra Secretary's analysis that a scenario where the UK leaves without arrangements in place for free and frictionless trade with the EU would have major repercussions for farming, food production and the environment."