The NFU has responded to a Defra consultation setting out proposed contents of an Environmental Principles and Governance Bill which supports the creation of a new environmental body and asks whether current EU environmental policy principles should be embedded into UK law post-Brexit.
Farming has a daily interest in managing and protecting environmental resources alongside the practical challenges of food production. With this in mind the NFU has given careful consideration to the aims and objectives of any new, independent body set up to protect the environment and whether environmental policy principles should be embedded into law.
The agricultural sector manages some 70% of land in the country playing an integral part in protecting, maintaining and enhancing our countryside but also producing high quality, safe and affordable food.
The NFU's interests in this new body and the policy principles will be in how these:
- Are framed to support productive agriculture, while protecting our soils, water and wildlife
- Provide clarity and certainty for our members without adding unnecessary costs and burdens to businesses
- Seek to improve environmental legislation
- Ensure that regulatory frameworks are evidence-based and outcome focused
- Give the EU and other trading partners confidence in the UK's environmental standards
- Can ensure that our regulatory regimes have appropriate levels of regulatory equivalence with trading partners, to maximise the potential and fairness of our trading relationships.