Finally Free to Green Agriculture Policy? UK post‐Brexit Policy Developments in the Shadow of the CAP and Devolution

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Since the EU referendum, the UK government has pledged to deliver a ‘Green Brexit', with a profound rethink of agricultural policies in line with a ‘public money for public goods' agenda. Will Brexit finally set the UK government free to green its farming policies? To answer this question, this article looks back at the UK's Common Agricultural Policy greening record and at early proposals for future UK policy. It shows that while UK governments have pioneered and pushed for many green instruments in the CAP, their overarching priority remained to limit funding – both EU and national – for agriculture. After Brexit, the UK will be leaving the CAP, yet early policy discussions in the UK show that UK decision‐makers face very similar challenges to their EU counterparts: how should agriculture policy be funded and how should funding be shared between the UK four nations? How much divergence in policy is acceptable without threatening the level playing field? In the UK these challenges are compounded by, first, the devolution settlements, with agriculture and environment in devolved competences while trade is reserved to the UK government; and second, the uncertainties surrounding the future trading relationships among the UK, the EU and the wider world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2019


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