New Defra chief Michael Gove has been told farmers need “certainty” that the Government will make Brexit a success for British food and farming.
In an open letter to the secretary of state for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) offered Gove its “sincere congratulations” on his appointment and said it “looked forward to working with him”.
Written by NFU president Meurig Raymond, the letter said the NFU is aiming to work with Defra to champion farming within the Government.
“Our shared aim is to ensure a productive, progressive and profitable future for British farmers and assurance to British consumers. With farming arguably the sector most impacted by Brexit, NFU members need certainty as soon as possible that this Government will make Brexit a success for British food and farming,” the letter said.
“To achieve our potential, we need a future post-Brexit trade arrangement that delivers the best possible access to the vital EU market, as well as continued access to a competent and reliable workforce. With your experience in reforming policy environments we look forward to working with you to create a new wider policy framework that better delivers for British food and farming - and for our nation.”
In addition, the NFU suggested the following measures for the new Government to support British Farming:
- That the Government’s 25-Year bovine TB Eradication strategy is implemented in full.
- Licensing and access to plant protection products.
- Regulation based on robust, scientific evidence to the reauthorisation of glyphosate.
- The impact of issues such as fly-tipping, theft and hare coursing for farms and rural communities.
In May 2017, the NFU urged farmers to speak with MPs on neonicotinoids ban.