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Environment Secretary's speech on 'delivering a Green Brexit'

21 July 2017

Environment Secretary's speech on 'delivering a Green Brexit'

In a speech today, Environment Secretary Michael Gove set out his vision for the future of the environment after Brexit, restating the Government’s pledge to “leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.”

Commenting on the speech, Graeme Willis, CPRE food and farming campaigner, said:

“We welcome the Secretary of State’s ambitious commitment to restore nature and reverse environmental decline. We welcome too his recognition that farmers are vital for the stewardship of the countryside and that good farming protects and manages beautiful landscapes, wildlife habitats and the soils that we need to sustain food production.

“In committing to develop a system that will reward farmers for providing environmental benefits the market doesn’t pay for, the Secretary of State has made a positive step towards seizing the opportunity that Brexit presents to put the environment and the common good at the heart of future agricultural support. His support for marginal areas, the uplands and small family farms needs to be demonstrated in future funding. 

“In this first major speech there is every sign that the Secretary of State is ready for the scale of the challenge and is setting out to deliver major and radical change. We look forward to seeing the 25 Year Environment Plan from his department with the detailed proposals and measures of success that will make that happen. If the action matches the ambition then we look forward to a diverse, prosperous and innovative farming sector, high standards of food quality and sustainability, and resilient, well-managed and beautiful countryside where people and nature can thrive.” 

Emma Marrington, CPRE senior rural policy campaigner attended the Secretary of State's speech this morning. She said: "I was pleased to hear that the Minister recognised the importance of high quality landscape and natural beauty, including features such as hedgerows.

"We welcome the commitment to developing an ambitious 25 Year Environment Plan and hope that it will be published for consultation in the next few months. We are keen to work with Defra to develop strong targets that will help protect and enhance the country's world-renowned landscapes for decades to come."

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