New body pro­posed to reg­u­late na­ture

Yorkshire Post - - COUNTRY & FARMING -

A PRO­POSAL for a new in­de­pen­dent body to ad­vise and chal­lenge gov­ern­ment on en­vi­ron­men­tal leg­is­la­tion has been wel­comed as an am­bi­tious idea by farm­ers.

The vice-pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Farm­ers’ Union (NFU), Guy Smith, said it would pro­vide a chance for the in­dus­try to in­flu­ence reg­u­la­tion post-2019 when Bri­tain leaves the Euro­pean Union.

En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Michael Gove has an­nounced that Min­is­ters will con­sult on whether a new in­de­pen­dent, statu­tory body to ad­vise and chal­lenge gov­ern­ment and po­ten­tially other pub­lic bod­ies on en­vi­ron­men­tal laws should be es­tab­lished. Min­is­ters would be able to step in when needed to hold pub­lic bod­ies to ac­count and en­force stan­dards.

Em­pha­sis­ing his vow to de­liver a “Green Brexit”, Mr Gove said: “We will con­sult on cre­at­ing an in­de­pen­dent body – en­cour­ag­ing trans­parency and pre­vent­ing care­less or ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour dam­ag­ing our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.”

Mr Smith said: “The pro­pos­als ap­pear am­bi­tious and will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for agri­cul­ture to work in part­ner­ship with gov­ern­ment to help shape a new ap­proach to the reg­u­la­tion of our en­vi­ron­ment post-Brexit.

“Our 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 and how these 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.”

At this time of the year Bri­tain’s small­est ro­dents are col­lect­ing berries and seeds to sus­tain them through win­ter. Har­vest mice can be spot­ted climb­ing through mead­ows and hedgerows but their num­bers are thought to be in de­cline.

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