Gove: Brexit is “once in a lifetime” green opportunity

Environment secretary, Michael Gove, in his speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week insisted Brexit was a golden opportunity for the environment. “We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.

According to Gove (pictured), “For the first time in more than 40 years, we can – together – now determine our own environmental policies. We can do what we think is best to make our country cleaner, greener and more beautiful. For everyone who loves the natural world, these are exciting times."

He continued: “Of course there have been environmental rules which we have helped develop while in the EU which are important and which we must keep, indeed – where possible – strengthen…But now we are leaving and taking back control, there are so many ways in which we can enhance our environment.”

Among the examples he cited was replacing the Common Agricultural Policy, which he described as “a failure – environmentally damaging and socially unjust”. Gove reaffirmed the direction of travel on this previously signalled by ministers: that production subsidies would give way to payments for wider environmental and social benefits.

“Outside the CAP, we can stop subsidising the rich on the basis of how much land they own and instead spend money on enhancing the environment, supporting innovation, improving productivity, training a new generation of entrepreneurial young farmers and reviving rural communities.”

See the October edition of THE WATER REPORT for more conference coverage including on:

  • Water sector legitimacy

  • Brexit: green opportunity or threat?

  • Healthy rivers