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Defra's Brexit plans to date: large billboards will be abolished

Andrea Leadsom's speech to the Oxford Farming Conference was seen as an opportunity for her to share her department's thinking on farming post-Brexit. In the event, it was long on rhetoric, but short on specifics.

Leadsom's address began, inauspiciously, with the inaccurate observation that farming has been around 'as long as mankind itself'. She went on to reassure delegates that the government remained committed to two goals: 'Firstly, to make a resounding success of our world-leading food and farming industry ... And secondly, to become the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it'. (The latter was called into question by an all-party parliamentary committee this week, see Sustain blog here.)
 
Leadsom confirmed that there will shortly be separate Green Papers and consultations on the Environment and on Food and Farming. She also revealed that Defra has an EU Exit Team busy on eight different workstreams.
 
Compared with the aspirations, though, the concrete promises consisted merely of commitments to scrap three pieces of what were held up as pointless EU regulations: 'No more six-foot EU billboards littering the landscape. No more existential debates to determine what counts as a bush, a hedge, or a tree. And no more ridiculous, bureaucratic three-crop rule.'
 
Read the full speech here, and find out more here about Sustain's Brexit campaigning for a greener, fairer food supply.
 
 

6 Jan 2017
Sustain

Sustain: Sustain The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.

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