In 2018 I carried out a series of interviews with family farms in the North York Moors. I was researching what impact the twin changes of leaving the EU and transitioning to a ‘public money for public goods’ subsidy system could have on their lives. Those I visited welcomed me with open arms and, although many had struggled in recent times, they were keen to make the new system work. And we need this system to work. A new RSPB report reveals a “lost decade” for British wildlife. Restorative land use takes time, so we really don’t have many more opportunities to get it right.Read more
Last month saw the ‘future relationship’ talks between the UK and the EU resume after a pandemic hiatus. Fisheries management was cited by both Michael Gove and Michel Barnier as a major sticking point. Although conflicts between democracies over fisheries are surprisingly frequent, this one is at the centre of the constitutional and economic rupture that is Brexit, meaning the stakes are even higher. Read more
The Brexit debate has largely been an internal squabble among British factions vying for control of the UK’s national priorities. This has meant international pressures have lacked consideration in public discourse, particularly when it comes to the UK’s post-Brexit trading environment. Read more
In case you haven’t heard, the UK is in a political crisis. Parliament has come to a Brexit standstill, and any resolution will be fraught with unrest. Recent polling from the Hansard Society found that public faith in the political system is at a low, with feelings of powerlessness rife.
British environmental politics has not escaped this quagmire. Key pieces of legislation that were once sources of optimism for a green Brexit are frustratingly stuck in unsatisfactory form in their progression through parliament. To salvage her legacy, Theresa May could legislate for the CCC’s net-zero target, but that would require the cabinet consent that she has found so elusive during her tenure. Read more