July 2017 – Environment & the Great Repeal Bill

July 2017 – Environment & the Great Repeal Bill

Thank you for contacting me about future standards in food, farming and fishing once the UK has left the EU.

In order to provide legal certainty over our withdrawal, the Great Repeal Bill will remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book and convert all EU law into UK law. This will mean the immediate conversion of EU law into domestic law on the day of the UK’s departure from the EU, including on food, farming and environmental standards. Parliament will then be free to keep, amend or repeal any law as it sees fit.

To inform future policy, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is engaging with farmers, environmentalists, members of the public and other stakeholders to hear their views and ambitions for the future. Leaving the EU means we can tailor our new arrangements to the needs of our farmers, fishermen, precious habitats and wildlife, instead of following a one size fits all approach for 28 different countries.

I am certain that Ministers will keep sustainability at the forefront of their efforts, as they consistently have in previous EU negotiations. In particular, the manifesto commitment to maintain the ban on the economically and environmentally-damaging practice of fish discards will be kept. Within the Common Fisheries Policy, the UK played a leading role in securing this important reform.

I am determined that our food producers should be freed to grow more, sell more and export more great British food, while upholding our high standards for plant and animal health and welfare. Our best days as a food and farming nation lie ahead of us.  This is particularly important to me as an MP for a constituency with significant agricultural activity, and I am pleased that I will be directly involved with this process as a member of the DEFRA ministerial team, being the Government Whip for DEFRA matters.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.