Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:This post Brexit time is a difficult one for farmers. They have become so heavily dependent on European subsidies that they must constantly worry whether those subsidies will be replaced by the UK government. European directives that have protected our wildlife and their habitats may disappear in future and we can’t rely on our government to continue these protections. It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture, does it?
Farming is in a ‘mixed up’ state. The vast agri-businesses that exist around the world continue to poison the soil with a mixture of pesticides and herbicides which are no longer as effective as they once were. Newer and more powerful chemicals are sought and huge agrochemical businesses get richer on the proceeds of their research. But these agri-businesses only produce a small proportion of the food needed to feed the world’s growing population and in the process they continue to pollute our rivers, cause soil erosion, destroy pollinators and other wildlife and devastate the features of the countryside. They also contribute a third of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions.
The most productive farms are the small, family farms usually run organically and with wildlife in mind. Leaving the EU should be the chance to get away from the destructive cycle of agri-business and refocus taxpayers’ money to deliver more for people and nature.
Our post Brexit policy should be to invest in producing the things we all need – clean air, clean water, healthier intact soils, flood reduction, wildlife and beautiful places to enjoy.