London, UK -(AmmoLand.com)- As the initial, surprised, reaction to last week’s referendum fades a proper analysis of what an exit from the EU will mean for the countryside and rural communities can start to be developed.
Across much of the Alliance’s direct agenda it is arguable that not much will change, at least in the short term. The EU directives that have underpinned UK legislation are already enacted in our own laws with broad agreement and in a number of cases, such as the UK’s firearms legislation, are stricter and more developed than our European counterparts.
So, for instance, it seems unlikely that a future government will seek to alter significantly the existing levels of protection afforded to the environment by current legislation which has been developed in conjunction with EU directives. The Alliance will argue for the continuation and improvement of Natura 2000 sites, such as SPAs and SACs, which alongside SSSIs are key to reversing the decline of wildlife and habitats in the UK. Nor will leaving the EU alter the many international agreements to which the UK is party.
The major areas of change will be in farming and fishing policy which will, of course, have an impact across the countryside. Any change brings uncertainty and concern, but there is also great opportunity. The reality is that farming and fishing policy has not been delivering on a number of levels. Whether the measure is farmland wildlife, farm incomes, or sustainable fisheries there are real problems which the common EU policies have been unable to resolve, whilst there are also, of course, areas where policy has had a more positive impact.
Now that a decision has been taken to leave the EU the challenge, and the opportunity, is to develop a way forward for the countryside which retains those positives, but also address those areas where current policies have failed.
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About Countryside Alliance:
The Countryside Alliance is known for its work on wildlife and management, but its agenda is far broader than that incorporating food & farming, local businesses and services and the injustices of poor mobile phone signal and broadband in the countryside. We are anything but a single issue organisation and represent the interests of country people from all backgrounds and geographical locations. With around 100,000 members the Countryside Alliance promotes and protects rural life at Parliament, in the media and on the ground. Our vision is a future for the countryside which both preserves its traditional values and promotes a thriving rural community and economy; a countryside sustainably managed and sustainably enjoyed; a countryside where rural communities have equal access to the facilities and services enjoyed in urban communities; a countryside where people can pursue their businesses, activities and lives in a society that appreciates and understands their way of life.
Join the voice of rural Britain today at www.Countryside-Alliance.org.