This post is by Nandi Mkhize, programme officer and researcher in international trade and Brexit at ClientEarth and Anna Sands, trade policy specialist at WWF.
The UK is developing its new trade policy, amid fierce debate within the country and with trading partners about how it will enshrine environmental standards into law.
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.
This post is by Agathe de Canson, policy assistant at Green Alliance, working in the Greener UK unit.
It has been a trade-heavy summer, with the government busy negotiating trade deals, the Department for International Trade reviewing the way it engages with stakeholders and rumours that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott could get a top UK trade role.
On Monday 20 July, Green Alliance hosted online the first major speech on the environment by the Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Defra secretary of state. You can read the full speech, watch the event on our YouTube channel or listen to the highlights on our podcast.
Here are reactions to what he said, on funding, the Environment Bill, trade and the UK’s global role, from leading environmental campaigners: Read more
This post is by Tom West, UK environment lead at ClientEarth.
Where does your stuff come from? It’s a classic environmental refrain to consider the origin of the clothes you wear, the food you eat and all the general stuff you accumulate. So the UK government’s ambitions to sign new trade deals and open our markets to new goods from around the world is really very relevant to those who care about how things are made. Read more
In the House of Commons last Wednesday, Conservative MP Simon Hoare stood up and proudly described the Woodland Trust as a group of Leninists. 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
This post was first published by Business Green.
The government may be wavering about the Brexit negotiations but it has, at least, been clear about its vision for Britain’s role after Brexit. Theresa May wants “us to be a truly Global Britain, best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too.” And, under trade minister Liam Fox, the Department of International Trade sees the country’s new role as a global beacon of free trade. Read more
To coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, earlier this week the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox extolled the benefits of free and fair trade and set out how those principles were informing his department’s trade strategy. In contrast to President Trump, Dr Fox looks at the world as a source of trading opportunities, not threats, and is fond of quoting the IMF forecast that 90 per cent of world growth over the next ten to 15 years will come from outside continental Europe. Read more
This post is by Matthew Stanton (@MStantonUK), lawyer at WWF-UK, and Ali Plummer, senior policy officer on Brexit at RSPB. They are both representatives of the Greener UK coalition.
The government’s recently released 25 year environment plan says it is a “comprehensive and long term approach to protecting and enhancing our natural habitats and landscapes in England for the next generation”. But, to be truly comprehensive, the plan must, of course, go beyond Defra and be owned across government departments and bodies, with all taking a responsibility for its delivery and achievements. For instance, the UK’s new external trade policy presents a tremendous opportunity for the UK to lead the way in promoting sustainable trade. Read more