Friday, 22 July 2016

Government reshuffle

I am delighted that I have been re-appointed as Minster of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I said during the EU referendum campaign that I hoped to be the first Farming Minister in over 40 years with the power to design a new national agriculture policy starting from first principles, so I am delighted to be offered this opportunity.
We have an enormous task ahead of us. I do think it is important now to bring the country together, put the campaign behind us and all work together to implement the collective will of the nation.  I am pleased that a government has now been formed, giving us the certainty to move forwards and put in place new agriculture, fisheries and environment policies.
Rather than having lawyers coming in to my ministerial office to tell me that nothing can be done because of EU law, instead my office can now become a vibrant hub of discussion with farmers, fishermen, scientists, ecologists and volunteers talking about how we can try new things and do better for our agriculture, fisheries and environment.
I want us to put in place a very close partnership with the EU based on friendship and cooperation and I want the UK to be a generous and outward looking country that is a good global citizen.  I will strive in the months ahead to ensure that we get our approach right.

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