'Make Brexit work for countryside'

Politicians are being urged to ensure that Brexit works for the countryside when negotiations start after this month's general election.

The call was made in a rural charter published by the Countryside Alliance ahead of voting on Thursday, 8 June.

It echoes calls by the Rural Services Network, which has warned that the rural voice must be heard by whoever forms the next government.

The Countryside Alliance charter says: "Our countryside is a national treasure admired around the world but it is also a home and workplace for millions of Britons.

"Those who live and work there can be forgiven for feeling that the countryside is often treated as a theme park, not receiving the political support and action it needs and deserves.

"Rural life holds specific challenges and we urge the next government to recognise this and prioritise accordingly."

The Countryside Alliance adds: "It is clear that Brexit will be front and centre of the work of the next Parliament, and the decision to leave the EU will have a profound impact on the countryside.

"To this end we have published a policy document focusing on Brexit which addresses the key issues and opportunities for the countryside.

"In addition to Brexit, the next government will need to address other key rural issues, so we have launched a Rural Charter with our five priorities."

The alliance's priorities include making Brexit work for the countryside, buying British by supporting farmers, delivering first class digital infrastructure and tackling rural crime.

It also wants the government to repeal the Hunting Act and recognise the value of shooting and fishing to the rural economy.

The full charter can be downloaded here.


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