Autumn is fast approaching which means it is almost time for the political parties to hold their annual conferences. The Countryside Alliance will once again be hosting fringe events at the Liberal Democrat, Labour, and Conservative conferences. The theme for our events this year will be Brexit and the countryside.
The conferences will be taking place as follows:
- Liberal Democrats, Bournemouth, Saturday 16 – Tuesday 19 September
- Labour, Brighton, Sunday 24 – Wednesday 27 September
- Conservatives, Manchester, Sunday 1 – Wednesday 4 October
We will be asking Liberal Democrat and Labour delegates how their parties can help make Brexit work for the countryside. This is an important Parliament for the countryside with crucial decisions to make about the kind of landscapes we want to create, the food we want to eat, and the communities we want to develop. With the Government having the smallest of majorities in the House of Commons, MPs from all parties will be able to influence the outcome of these decisions. Our meetings will be an opportunity to discuss the principles and priorities that should underpin our approach to the negotiations, and how opposition parties at Westminster can help to ensure that rural communities thrive outside the European Union.
At the Conservative conference we will be hosting a breakfast discussion meeting with Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove MP, and Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner. This will be an opportunity for Mr Gove to set out his vision for the countryside post Brexit, and for delegates and guests to ask questions about the impact of leaving the EU on a range of rural issues. We are also inviting questions from our members and supporters ahead of the event which can be submitted using our online form.
We will be hosting a second event at the Conservative conference on the future of wildlife law outside of the European Union. For the past 40 years the framework of our wildlife law has been largely determined by the EU and has led to some significant improvements for wildlife which should be continued and improved outside of the EU. Leaving the European Union provides the opportunity to review our approach to wildlife protection and develop a sustainable wildlife policy that is appropriate for the UK. Our meeting will discuss the principles that should underpin the approach to new policy, and how can this be delivered in practice.
Countryside Alliance Political Relations Manager, James Somerville-Meikle, commented: “It is clear that Brexit will dominate the work of this Parliament and our fringe events will help to ensure that rural issues are kept on the agenda. We have an exciting panel of speakers at each event, including the Secretary of State and frontbench representatives, and I am looking forward to some interesting and productive discussions.”
Full details of our fringe events, including information about attending, can be found on our party conference homepage.