Food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published “Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit” - a summary of the responses to its consultation.
Key findings include:
- Most respondents supported simplifying the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy during the last years of the UK's membership.
- Some respondents pointed to land availability as a barrier to new farmers.
- Many respondents wanted immigration measures to ensure that there are enough agricultural workers.
- Many respondents supported public access to land, but some farmers were concerned about damage to their businesses and property.
- Many respondents thought that public health should be treated as a public good by the government. (For a discussion of the definition of “public health” in economics vs. in health, see here and here.)
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.