Leadsom admits uncertainty over post-Brexit environmental laws

Discussion in 'Agricultural Matters' started by Great In Grass, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Great In Grass

    Andrea Leadsom has today (25 October) confirmed that the majority of European Union (EU) environmental legislation will be transferred across into UK law in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, but uncertainty looms for around a third of green regulations which the Defra Sectretary admitted "won't be easy to transpose".

    Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom appeared before the Environmental Audit Committee in Parliament today

    Appearing before the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in a public hearing for the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into the future of Britain's natural environment after the EU referendum, Leadsom insisted that she remained “absolutely committed to a smooth transition”.

    The South Northamptonshire MP grew increasingly irate over suggestions that the Great Repeal Act - which will overturn the superiority of all existing EU law over the UK's own law - would effectively dilute the UK’s environmental ambitions.

    “As far as possible, we will be bringing all EU legislation into UK law, and at first glance it appears that will be feasible to do between two-thirds and three-quarters of legislation," Leadsom told fellow MPs. "That’s not to say there is some ulterior motive; it's merely to say that a good deal of it will be relatively straightforward to bring into UK law.

    "There are roughly a quarter that cannot be brought immediately into law either because it requires technical attention or falls away, and that’s the bit we will be looking at to see what steps need to be taken."

    ‘Great comfort’

    During a lively discussion, the Defra Secretary fiercely rejected claims that Brexit would produce an unpredictable environmental outlook for the UK, echoing previous claims by Resource Minister Therese Coffey that the Conservative administration will “leave the environment in a better state than we found it".

    Leadsom singled out the Government’s recent action to enhance marine conservation zones and phase out microbeads from cosmetics products as clear examples of continued global leadership on environmental issues. Businesses would be reassured by the certainty provided by the Government’s clear agenda to negotiate its EU departure, Leadsom asserted.

    “In terms of continuity for businesses, whether they are farmers or environmental groups trying to actually work towards a particular goal in the UK, I think the certainty of the Great Repeal Bill will come as great comfort to them.

    “The important point for certainty for business is that we make it clear is that nothing will change unless it has to on day one. And then, over a period of time, we will be able to repeal, amend, and strengthen laws at leisure.”


    With around 25% of all EU legislation currently directly impacting on the Defra ministry, environmental campaigners have continually stressed the importance that rules protecting Britain's natural environment"are not lost" during and after Brexit negotiations.

    The EAC expressed its own concern over the Defra's apparent lack of a long-term strategy towards air quality, with statistics suggesting that toxic air pollution is claiming tens of thousands of UK lives a year. Leadsom refused to be drawn on which specific subject areas would be transferred into UK law following the Great Repeal Act, but maintained that air quality remains a “top priority” for Government, alongside progress surrounding water quality reforestation and flood defence.

    Later on in the discussion, Leadsom confirmed that the frameworks for the two separate 25-year environment and food & farming plans will be launched “within the next few months,” but she was not prepared to provide an exact date for either. At the suggestion of the “madness” that the plans will be dealt with in isolation, Leadsom insisted that the establishment of two separate pathways was “absolutely the right thing to do”.

    Farming subsidies

    Yesterday, the National Audit Office (NAO) published an update on the progress of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Delivery Programme - the soon-to-be-scrapped EU legislation which has courted significant controversy for discriminating against non-EU imports and holding back sustainable development. The update focused primarily on basic payment scheme payments to English farmers and landowners, which totalled £1.39bn up to this month.

    Today, the EAC called upon Leadsom - who once infamously decried public subsidies to UK farmers - to ensure that any replacement for CAP payment schemes focuses more on public goods. In response, Leadsom insisted that she wished to maintain a balance between the environmental outlook and food production. “I would like to see environmental goods being a focus,” she said. “But at the same time, food and farming is a very important economic sector, and we would like to see more innovation, more food production, more promotion of the Great British brand.

    "But this must come in a way that advances and improves the environment. That would be the real sweet spot.”

    George Ogleby

    Credit: upload_2016-10-25_19-2-5.png
  2. see more innovation, more food production, more promotion of the Great British brand..

    I have no issues with that. (y)
    Great In Grass likes this.
  3. The Ruminant

    The Ruminant Member

  4. The Ruminant

    The Ruminant Member

    Environmental legislation will be transferred across but will there continue to be compensatory payments for entering into environmental schemes or will it be compulsory?
  5. llamedos

    llamedos New Member

    Glad to see him back and posting, was beginning to think he had deserted us, Both @Great In Grass & @jade35 always find some interesting articles (y)
    The Ruminant likes this.
  6. silverfox

    silverfox Member

    I thought every brexit voter on here was telling us all the rules and regs would be binned after we left. @gone up the hill
    bigw, its yourself, jendan and 5 others like this.
  7. caveman

    caveman Member

    East Sussex.
    What is so really difficult to understand?
    Things stay as they are for the most part but we are then able to delete, develop and adapt as we go along by our own decisions?
    Chrisw, Pan mixer, Tarw Coch and 4 others like this.
  8. llamedos

    llamedos New Member

  9. holwellcourtfarm likes this.
  10. DrDunc

    DrDunc Member

    So we cut ourselves off from the biggest market for our produce.

    We don't actually get any reduction in red tape, inspections, rule requirements, or restrictions.

    We wait while the politicians decide what, if any changes, will be made to the bulk of EU legislation.

    We hold our breath (and overdraft facility) for many years to come that some sort of trade agreement can be made with our biggest market. Canada has been trying for that same trade agreement for SEVEN YEARS, only to have it rejected by a small province in Belgium because they are worried about beef imports undermining their own production.

    If you believe the EU will treat the currently united kingdom any better than Canada, then you are nieve beyond contempt.

    Brexit: how to change nothing for the better, and farming livelihoods for the worse.
    bigw, its yourself, sleepy and 11 others like this.
  11. caveman

    caveman Member

    East Sussex.
    Yada yada yada yada yada.
    It's quite simple really.
    Produce something we or they want that is either something they cant produce theirselves or buy cheaper from elswhere.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
    MickMoor likes this.
  12. gone up the hill

    After Brexit as time goes on they will be changed/ adapted but the UK Government have already said that all current EU laws will be kept in the interim after we leave the EU.

    One thing to note is that the Conservative MP that chairs the EFRA committee wrote a letter ( alongside other MP's ) the other day to the Government demanding that all future sub payments be based on environmental work/ aspects and then a week later he did a complete U turn and was giving interviews saying that farmer's will need to lobby hard to stop this happening.

    My take on the whole thing is that the Government are in a mess over Brexit and they are lacking serious leadership over the issue from the PM who will end up being just as ineffective as PM as she was in her last job.
    orchard likes this.
  13. gone up the hill

    We will get a massive reduction in red tape over time. just take Round up ( or whatever it is now called ) for example, the EU are intent on banning it whilst nearly every other country in the world can use it and these are the country's importing into the EU, if we get out before they ban it then we will be able to carry on using it.
  14. llamedos

    llamedos New Member

    Worth reading this :-

    Environmental Audit Committee

    Oral evidence: The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum, HC 599

    Tuesday 18 October 2016

    Ordered by the House of Commons to be published on 18 October 2016.

    Watch the meeting

    Members present: Peter Aldous (Chair); Caroline Ansell; Geraint Davies; Zac Goldsmith; Peter Heaton-Jones; Caroline Lucas; Kerry McCarthy; John Mc Nally.

    Questions 228-275


    Sir Charles Burrell, Chair, Rewilding Britain, Professor Richard Brazier, University of Exeter, Professor Sue Hartley, British Ecological Society, and Dr Keith Kirby, University of Oxford.

    Guy Smith, Vice President, National Farmers Union, Peter Melchett, Policy Director, Soil Association and Organic Research Centre, Murray Davidson, Association of Local Government Ecologists, and Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive, Peak District National Park.

    orchard likes this.
  15. RobFZS

    RobFZS Member

    Ah still fighting the good old fight eh :LOL: neither do you still get it, do you.
  16. orchard

    orchard Member

    "Dr Kirby: I think we are, with certain caveats that my colleagues have already stressed. The analogy that has just come to mind is that we have the concept of a car. We know wheels work, we know an engine works and we know windscreen wipers can work, but we have not put them all together in the best possible form. We have put some bits together, as on Sir Charles’s estate; we have other bits at Ennerdale and other bits elsewhere in the country. We have good evidence on most of the components that we would expect in a rewilding project. The only way we are going to find out what else happens when you put them all together is if we put them all together. We are at the stage where we should be going for a series of field trials, large scale trials, comparable to the sort of thing that Sir Charles has been able to do for the last 10 years."

    No mention of car safety, liability insurance, or rules of the road and enforcement there then, haha :)
    llamedos likes this.
  17. Muck Spreader

    Muck Spreader Member

    So that immediately stops you exporting any crops where Roundup has been used to europe.
  18. jade35

    jade35 Member

    S E Cornwall
    @llamedos you had me worried for a minute:cautious:, couldn't work out why I was mentioned in a Brexit post and wondered what I had done to achieve such notoriety :nailbiting::nailbiting::eek: Thank you for the mention though and glad to be of use:smug: I do like the smaller / foreign reports that are hidden away and think they are often more interesting and thought provoking than the big news stories.
    llamedos likes this.
  19. Y Fan Wen

    Y Fan Wen Member

    N W Snowdonia
    Four different decisions of course from four governments.
  20. silverfox

    silverfox Member

    Guth firmly believes that DDT and Dursban will be allowed back.
    sleepy and turbo like this.

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