Landowners say leaving EU will help cut red tape

Being fed up with red tape has been given as one of the reasons for the majority of the UK population wanting to leave the EU.

Scottish Land & Estates chairman David Johnstone. Picture: Contributed
Scottish Land & Estates chairman David Johnstone. Picture: Contributed

Yesterday, landowners issued their views on which bits of regulation should be kept and which should be consigned to the bureaucratic bonfire.

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and the Country Land & Business Association, which represents land businesses and farmers in England and Wales, underlined the importance of certainty and continuity in the majority of the regulatory framework but also identified a number of regulations that work poorly for the UK and should be replaced at the point of Brexit.

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In the latter group are the three-crop rule for farmers, plant protection product licensing and the current nitrate directive where more appropriate domestic regulation could deliver better outcomes for the rural economy and the environment.

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SLE chairman David Johnstone said: “Exiting the EU will not, and should not, lead to the UK or Scottish Government into seeking to change all the laws that govern it. The UK that has led the EU and the world to achieve better standards that we would not seek to reverse and in many areas current regulations should be maintained.

“However, leaving the EU creates a clear opportunity to tackle the worst of the regulations established in Brussels.”

The landowners have proposed that the government establishes a legal backstop to ensure any EU law that has not been specifically altered or removed by the point of Brexit is automatically transferred into domestic law.