Brexit provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Britain to put in place its own agriculture policy rather than adhering to the EU’s one-size-fits-all subsidy regime.
This is the view of the Policy Exchange’s new report, Farming Tomorrow, and it’s one that is widely shared by many farmers given the increasing importance of food production in this country.
The think-tank’s report makes a compelling case, arguing that a new British Agricultural Policy should be focused on removing tariffs on food after Brexit in order to cut prices for consumers.
This chimes with the Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s recent ‘Green Brexit’ speech in which he indicated that farmers will be paid for delivering benefits for the countryside, rather than simply for the amount of land they own after Britain leaves the European Union.
Mr Gove, for all his lack of experience on rural matters, appears to have grasped the importance of the rural economy more than his predecessor Andrea Leadsom.
With the CLA, which represents over 30,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses across England and Wales, having outlined its plans for reforming the existing system of farm subsidies post-Brexit, there is a growing sense that agricultural and environmental issues are finally being addressed.
Farmers are crucial to the country’s economy and its long-term prosperity, which is why it’s crucial that whatever replaces the flawed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is not only fit for purpose, but encourages farmers and producers to flourish.