Criticising anti-Brexit figureheads like Maastricht Treaty enabler John Major and Iraq war architect Tony Blair, government adviser and agricultural businessman Michael Seals MBE has said farmers have nothing to fear over Brexit.
Writing in the Farmers Weekly, Seals — who is the chairman of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England — notes the anti-democratic attitudes of pro-EU leaders like Tony Blair, before slamming the EU itself for seeking to punish Britain for voting against them.
Farmers: Brexit an Opportunity to Scrap Damaging EU Rules, Reinvigorate British Countryside https://t.co/ZHwim2SKU1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 23, 2018
Casting a positive light on the leave vote — which has been often dominated in the agricultural sector in the past by a small number of agri-business owners who benefit enormously from the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments — Seals stated the great opportunities in selling more produce to the world outside of the EU, where demand growth can be higher.
In his opinion piece for Farmers Weekly, Seals wrote:
Since the referendum, I’ve seen Defra and its ministers taking every opportunity to get the views of all stakeholders as to how we may develop the sector. Within the department, ideas are being worked up. In my own area of animal health and welfare, we want to see our industry become the world leader.
There is so much we can do, freed from the shackles of the EU – from finding a new TB test to providing help to improve our productivity and competitiveness, and using R&D to improve our means of production.
To be honest, I’m not surprised at the apparent lack of progress in negotiating with the EU. It was ever thus. But at the end of March next year, we are leaving the EU. I hope we part as friends and neighbours, co-operating in trade, security and a myriad of other issues. I have no fear for the future of farming.
Breitbart London reported in August on the opportunities affording to Britain’s farming community by Brexit, with leave-supporting farmers on Exmoor launching a new plan for the area, to reinvigorate the countrywide after Britain leaves the bloc.
Articulating frustration with the European Union’s “inflexible” CAP subsidies which often reward farmers for bad behaviour including destroying natural features and harvesting at the wrong time of year, the group said the policy “disempowers farmers”. After Brexit, the British government has promised to replace the CAP with a new, British system — and the Exmoor group hope it will be geared to reward farmers for good behaviour, including maintaining historic features of the land, hedgerows, and conservation work as well as growing food.
Farage Leads ‘Furious’ Thames Fish-Flinging Protest at Parliament Against Brexit Deal https://t.co/td7LZbRF0z
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 21, 2018
Farmers are not the only part of British society that put food on the nation’s plate that is due to benefit from Brexit. A key campaigning group in the run-up to the 2016 referendum was Britain’s fishing communities, which have been among those suffering most under European Union rules. For years, British boats have been severely restricted in what catch they can land from British waters, while continental boats from EU nations took significantly more.
A government paper published in July found that EU boats landed around 760,000 tonnes of fish a year between 2012 and 2016, while UK boats landed only 90,000, thanks to EU rules.
After Brexit, the government has promised to retake control of Britain’s territorial waters, but doubt remains whether Theresa May’s questionable negotiations will actually see that ambition realised.