LONDON (Reuters) - Brexit offers a “unique opportunity” for Britain to transform its food, farming and environmental policies, Prime Minister Theresa May will tell farmers on Thursday, stepping up efforts to sell her vision for leaving the European Union.
May’s plan for Britain’s future ties with the EU has come under fire not only from competing factions in her Conservative Party but also across the country. Some say it will leave Britain too close to the bloc while others argue her proposal offers a relationship that is not close enough.
At an agriculture show in Wales, May will tell farmers that leaving the EU will mean replacing the bloc’s common agricultural policy, which provides subsidies, with a new system of public money for public goods.
“Leaving the EU presents us with a unique opportunity to transform our food, farming and environmental policies so we can have a healthy and prosperous agricultural industry that is fit for the future, and helps us to leave the environment in a better place than we found it,” she will say.
“I want to make the most of the freedoms provided by Brexit to design a new scheme that is less bureaucratic, and does away with the overly prescriptive information farmers currently have to provide to apply for grants.”
With her plan for a “business-friendly” Brexit criticized from all sides, May is keen to tour the country to set out not only what she sees as the benefits of leaving the EU but also her vision for Britain’s future outside the bloc.
The government has also increased its warnings over what a so-called no deal Brexit could look like, including preparations to stockpile food and medicines, in what Brexit campaigners say is an attempt to scare people into backing May’s plan.
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison