09 NOV 2018
Devon Wildlife Trust
Thank you very much for taking the time to email me.
I understand you are a supporter of the Devon Wildlife Trust and have noted your position that there should be set targets in law for improving the environment. I can assure you that I meet regularly with the Devon Wildlife Trust and as your MP I will be pressing for environmental standards to be at least equivalent or higher in the event that we do leave the EU.
I hope the following information from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which sets out the Government's general approach to environmental policymaking as we leave the jurisdiction of EU environmental regulations is of interest:
Food and farming is a bedrock of our economy and environment, generating £112 billion a year and helping shape some of our finest habitats and landscapes. The Government will continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this Parliament in 2022. Once we have the freedom to move away from the Common Agricultural Policy, the proposal is for an 'agricultural transition' period in England, allowing farmers to prepare for a new system.
Leaving the EU creates a once in a generation opportunity to design a domestic agricultural policy that will stand the test of time. Starting from first principles we can bring in innovative new ideas to support investment in healthy, sustainable British food production and do much better for farming, the environment and animal welfare. The Government proposes to move to a system of paying farmers public money for public goods: principally environmental enhancement.
Ministers have consulted widely with farmers and others, and have published the Agriculture Bill alongside their response; it focuses mostly on England because they recognise that devolution provides each administration with the powers to decide its own priorities. They are keenly aware of the importance of seasonal labour, so will work with the industry to ensure it has the right people with the right skills.
We must take this opportunity to use public money to reward environmentally-responsible land use, as well as maintaining and enhancing high standards of animal welfare. We will harness this opportunity and ensure that our best days as a food and farming nation lie ahead of us.
If you would like to come and see me at a constituency surgery to discuss this further then please do call my office on 01803 868 378. However, it would be helpful to collate with other supporters of this campaign so a joint meeting could be held.
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