Political Print

Panglossian views are not restricted to the political Pollyanna

The transport secretary’s view of post-Brexit food supply is reason to panic, says David Burrows. The EU has led UK food and environment policy for the past 43 years. Brexit therefore offers an opportunity to rip things up and start again, and who better to lead us into this new era of secure, safe, healthy…
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Political Print: Gove’s big green vision

DEFRA secretary’s conference speech is full of bold talk on the environment but short on detail – especially when it comes to Brexit. By Nick Hughes. Last week, the Print predicted that Michael Gove wouldn’t be quite so reticent in promoting his vision for food and the environment following the non-appearance of his Labour shadow…
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Political Print: Food’s off the table at the Labour conference

Hopes of the party promoting a bold new vision were dashed with the shadow DEFRA secretary sidelined in Brighton this week. By Nick Hughes. It’s party conference season, hence it’s time for the Print to snap out of its summer hibernation to pore over the food and environment policies of our current and future leaders.…
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Political Print: How has Gove fared in his first 100 days?

The environment secretary’s cheery rhetoric hasn’t been matched by convincing policy on the big challenges facing DEFRA, writes David Burrows. It’s like “putting the fox in charge of the hen house”, said Ed Davey, the former energy secretary, as news broke that Michael Gove was heading back to the cabinet as secretary of state for…
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Political Print: Chicken dispute misses the point

Despite calls for politicians to ban chlorine-washed US poultry, it’s businesses that will really decide whether it ends up on our plates. By Nick Hughes. It took what the Print likes to call “the yuk factor” for food to finally feature in the public discourse about Brexit. The prospect of US chlorine-washed chicken being served…
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10 things we need to know about Brexit

Talks with the EU are finally under way a year after the referendum and the food industry is anxiously awaiting the outcome, writes Nick Hughes. Friday marked the first anniversary of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Much has happened in the subsequent 365 days: there have been demonstrations, legal battles and most recently…
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Political Print: What’s on the election menu?

The Tories are keeping things vague in their manifesto but their rivals have plenty to offer on farming and waste. By Nick Hughes. It’s election time (again) which means the Print gets to play its favourite game of “count the number of mentions of food in the manifestos”. Unscientific it may be, but the 2017…
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Brexit means… what?

Theresa May has finally given her first big speech on leaving the EU. Are we any the wiser? Footprint asked five experts for their views. The lawyer: A little bit of clarity. “Over the last six months a few things are clearer. We now know, for instance, the government needs to pass a law to…
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Andrea Leadsom’s post-Brexit vision for UK food and farming is clear as mud

Listening to Andrea Leadsom address the Oxford Farming Conference on Monday, it was hard not to feel a degree of sympathy for the Defra Secretary of State. It wasn’t just the unfortunate opening observation that farming had been around “as long as mankind itself”, which discounted the vast majority of human history occupied by hunter-gatherers.…
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Looking for the bright side

His campaign rhetoric suggests President Trump will be bad news for the planet, but is there cause for optimism? What will a Donald Trump administration mean for food and the environment? It’s a sentence the Print never anticipated having to write, but then 2016 has been the year the political rulebook wasn’t just rewritten but…
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