Michael Gove – New Defra Secretary

Mr Gove is appointed New Defra Secretary

There has been mixed views following the appointment of Michael Gove as Secretary of State for the Environment at the most recent cabinet re-shuffle.

Some of the Farm Leaders believe his high profile will be good for the sector, putting the needs of farmers and protecting the countryside higher up in the Brexit negotiations.  Many believe, however, that the appointment is merely tactical to save a possible challenge on the leadership.

In a recent interview Mr Gove has pledged to “put farmers at the centre of policymaking.”  He continued to add “I hope to play a part in ensuring that as we prepare to leave the European Union – and things like the Common Agricultural Policy no longer apply – that we safeguard what is best for our environment.  Speaking to Sky News, Mr Gove said he wanted to ensure “all those who make our countryside beautiful and who keep it productive are at the very heart of policymaking.

Mr Gove said the CAP payments would be matched by Government and there would be less red tape.  In an interview with the Yorkshire post, he suggested farmers wouldn’t lose a penny from Brexit.

Mr Gove also said he recognised how “important it is to support and look after people who get food on our plates” because his Father ran a fish processing business.

He pledged EU migrant labour would be protected post-Brexit – if he became a Tory leader – and said the UK could introduce a seasonal agricultural workers scheme.