Vorpal wrote:I've outlined my views on the (potential) positives in previous posts
Please forgive late reply.
And thank you for your response.
I take your point about agriculture and possible benefits with regard to leaving the EU.
There were in the seventies and eighties policies which were entirely driven by the pursuit of ever cheaper food and the maximizing of production.
These were of course negotiated policies with our own UK Govt. around the table. It was however macro planning and sometimes it went over the top.
The last twenty or so years have seen much improvement, particularly perhaps in marginal land areas (that is where I know a little about things).
Certainly the environmentalists have got to have a bigger say than formerly and a bigger slice of funding.
Compromise is often difficult to strike in agriculture.
There are so many factors interacting. And some of those factors are poorly understood, even by experts.
Well meaning environmental projects have sometimes been a waste of money.
Certainly the dependence upon subsidy is almost total on many farms now.
The numbers of people employed on the land continues to decrease. Machines become ever bigger and small difficult fields on steeper poorer soils run to disuse and bracken and scrub infestation.
Plant trees on such land?
It is a solution for sure, but overlooks the diversity found in hay and grazing fields.
But on marginal land returns are small and the inevitable consequence would be more expensive food. ( Cyril Haearn overlooks this in his growing oats on marginal land appeals!)
My impression is, that very often in the past, the EU has been more sympathetic to innovation and "green" thinking than has Westminster or Cardiff.
Certainly there have been abuses of EU funding but the policing of that use of EU money lay for the most part with the Authorities here at home.
The culpability there is actually a UK one.
So while I could see that opportunities might present themselves in a UK agricultural sector outside of the EU, I am very sceptical that that would actually come to pass. Who would drive such a change of policy that would IMV inevitably lead to higher food prices?
Take for example Rees Mogg. He is a big landowner and doubtless receives considerable EU subsidy.
One of his big bugbears is the "3 crop rule" an EU rotation requirement which aims to preserve soil quality rather than maximize production (as I understand it).
I imagine his view of a UK agri sector would not be your own?
And nor mine.
There is a good deal of sound agricultural practice right across Europe. (Not everywhere it is true, Spain's off season intensive veg production notable perhaps; us Northerners want our cheap winter salad!)
The fine climate and soils of Europe are are veritable treasure trove for it's inhabitants.
It is my firmly held belief that we benefit as EU members, not just from that treasure trove, but the knowledge that lies behind farming it too.
(Many of your ideas about hedgerows, diversity and fruit growing, I am not only supportive of, but actually practice in a smallish (and unprofitable!) way.)
I am old enough to remember pre EU fishing in the UK.
Depletion of species seemed to be far more frequent than now.
The Herring was historically almost fished to extinction solely by UK fishermen.
So I think (as a layman)overall the EU has had a beneficial effect there too.