Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner, and Head of Policy, Sarah Lee met the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove MP, on Monday this week (11th September) to discuss rural issues and the impact of Brexit on the countryside and rural communities.

It was a great opportunity for the Countryside Alliance to raise the potential impact of Brexit on the UK’s £2 billion shooting industry, and the interests of shooting and the game market that need to be included in our new relationship with the EU. Tim and Sarah stressed the need to maintain tariff-free access to the EU market for game meat and in other shooting related areas such as firearms, ammunition, and game bird chicks and eggs. They also urged game meat to be promoted by Defra as part of efforts to export more British food. Mr Gove recognised the important role shooting plays in the countryside and stated his intention to see shooting thrive outside the EU.

The meeting also included a discussion on the future of wildlife law and the principles and priorities that should be central to any new wildlife policy. Leaving the EU is an important opportunity to review our approach to wildlife protection and develop a sustainable wildlife policy that is appropriate for the UK. Mr Gove stated his intention to see environmental and wildlife protections continue outside of the EU and was open-minded on ways for improving the law post Brexit.

Mr Gove also gave his support to the Countryside Alliance Awards and agreed, in principle, to present the awards at the Grand Final in the House of Lords next year.

We look forward to working closely with Mr Gove to help sustain a living and working countryside outside the EU.

Mr Gove will be at our Brexit Breakfast at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Monday 2nd October. It you have a question for him relating to Brexit and the countryside, why not ask him a question via our online system? Simply complete the form below:

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