UK growers are threatening to quit the National Farmers’ Union after its president, Minette Batters, leader said she supported the government’s apparent move to scrap post-Brexit nature subsidies.
This weekend, it was revealed that the government was about to abandon the “Brexit bonus”, which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups have described as an “all-out attack” on the environment.
Minette Batters, the president of the NFU, said she welcomed the departure from Elms. “My absolute priority is ensuring that farmers can continue to produce the nation’s food – so I do support maintaining direct payments in order to build a scheme that really will deliver for food production and the environment,” she said.
She later doubled down on this point, saying that she believed private money should be used to pay farmers for wildlife recovery, rather than public funds. She said: “We have got literally billions and billions of pounds in green finance that is looking to invest in wild environments. We should be making the private sector work effectively.”
Prominent members of the NFU have been speaking out, saying they were minded to quit if the leadership failed to clarify its position and support payments for environmental protections.