Future of natural environment post-Brexit relies on resilient farming sector

06 September 2016

Building resilience in the agricultural sector will lead to a better future for the countryside once the UK leaves the European Union. That is the message of the CLA as new Environment and Brexit ministers appear before the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the future of the natural environment post-Brexit.

The CLA said voting to leave the EU produced an opportunity for better environmental outcomes for the countryside by creating a new world-leading food, farming and environment policy.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “Landowners and farmers are the people who look after the great British countryside through careful environmental management.  But this comes at a cost which the current market does not provide for. To successfully maintain the landscapes and wildlife that the public wants to see, society must work in partnership with land managers.

“Brexit provides a unique opportunity to sustain a resilient farming sector through a fully-funded policy that delivers better outcomes for our environment. We want to continue improving biodiversity, helping tackle climate change and managing the UK’s distinctive landscapes for this generation and for those to come. But the right investment is critical.

“Ministers will be setting out their initial thoughts to MPs this week. We don’t expect all the answers at this stage, but now is the time to provide reassurance to farmers, landowners and all those who care about our countryside. Ministers have a responsibility to lead a collaborative and efficient process through which a new policy can be developed. Land managers are ready to play a full and constructive part in that process.”

The CLA’s written evidence comes before Environment Minister Therese Coffey and Brexit Minister Robin Walker both appear in front of the committee on 7 September to give oral evidence.

Read the CLA’s written evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee in full here.

‘New Opportunities: The Case for a World-leading Food, Farming and Environmental Policy’ can be accessed here.