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2 November 2017 10:02:05 |Arable,Crops and Cereals,Government,Grassland,News,Renewables and Environment

Gove calls for need to set up independent environment regulator post-Brexit

Michael Gove has announced possible plans on the future of environmental governance arrangements on leaving the EU

Michael Gove has announced possible plans on the future of environmental governance arrangements on leaving the EU

Defra Sectreary Michael Gove has suggested the UK will need to set up an independent regulator with powers to hold the government to account on environmental issues after Brexit.
He said there are "strong and powerful" arguments for a new environmental regulator, to ensure standards are upheld post-Brexit.
Speaking to the House of Lords’ energy and environment committee, Mr Gove explained that “there’s a responsibility on my department” to address the so-called “governance gap” when the UK leaves the EU.
Environmental groups have previously warned that Brexit could lead to poorer environmental standards, but the Defra Secretary's reassurance will likely calm fears.
Some pro-Brexit MPs have argued that the UK should reserve the right to thin out environmental rules which they believe undermine UK competitiveness.
Currently, the European Commission has wide control over environmental matters, including the enforcement of laws covering air pollution, chemicals, wildlife and water quality.

It has the power to bring infringement proceedings against governments suspected of breaching rules.
Food production concerns
Mr Gove’s ever increasing commitment to a 'green Brexit' is likely to raise concerns among some farmers that the government is prioritising the environment rather than the need for smooth food production.
However, he said: “As we reform the system of agricultural support we have at the moment, we can have a system that incentivises both better care for the environment and also better innovation in food productivity.”
Mr Gove has said Brexit would mean leaving behind the EU's 'environmentally damaging and socially unjust' Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
In terms of the growing issue of the need to improve UK soil health, Mr Gove has said the UK will see the "fundamental eradication of soil fertility" because industrial farming has "damaged the earth".
He has thus been encouraging farmers to adopt techniques such as minimum tillage, which could improve soil health.

He has also previously said that farm subsidies should be awarded to farmers who promote environmental measures which encourage innovation.


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