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In reaction to the National Audit Office report (published Wednesday Sep 12th) that we should not rush to "lock in" huge policy changes post-Brexit

Comment from Sue Pritchard, director of the RSA's Food, Farming and Countryside Commission:

“Given the complexity of the changes we’re going to make post-Brexit, it’s hardly surprising the NAO reached its conclusion.

“To its credit, Defra is embarking on an ambitious vision for food and the environment post-Brexit, but it’s clear from our Commission’s UK tour, that the government must give serious thought and engage with all parts of the food and farming system. This will inevitably take time.

“A no deal Brexit would be catastrophic for many farming businesses and the environment.  The government needs sufficient time to think seriously through life after 40 years of the Common Agricultural Policy: the real danger for all is rushing on the important details and locking the unintended consequences of bad policy into the system.   It’s clear from our Commission that the UK public care very much about their food, where it comes from and the countryside, and they have very high standards for its future post-Brexit.”

"And given Michael Gove's announcement today (Wed Sep 12th) of a seven-year transition period before the removal of direct payments, we want to hear from farmers about whether that is enough time to make the big changes necessary."

  

The RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission director Sue Pritchard is available for media comment: contact Sue directly on 07966 470683.

Launched in November 2017, the RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission is a major, two-year independent inquiry, funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. It is the only concerted attempt to try and understand what people want for the future of food, farming and countryside post-Brexit. It's interim report is due out in late October, 2018.

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