CLA President Ross Murray has responded to the National Trust’s vision for the countryside post-Brexit:
“The National Trust has set out an important challenge to all those that care about the future of a living and working countryside. We agree that the UK’s exit from the EU and specifically our likely exit from the Common Agricultural Policy requires us to build a new policy that supports our farming and rural economy in a different way.
“We are however concerned by the Trust’s vision for a policy that sets solely environmental objectives. Only a profitable farming sector present throughout our countryside will ensure we have the people, the resource and the experience to deliver the environmental improvements the Trust rightly seeks to achieve.
“The policy that replaces the CAP must provide support for productive farming. It must be a policy that keeps farmers in business in the tough periods like the one we are experiencing right now. This has to be a fundamental part of the policy not just for a transitional period but for the long term. Our shared objective has to be to sustain a working rural economy with farming at its heart. Society will benefit if farmers can run viable businesses in all parts of our countryside and we all suffer if they are cast adrift on the rough seas of the world economy.”
The CLA’s briefing on how a new UK food, farming and environmental policy should be established can be found at www.cla.org.uk/newopportunities