CLA launches EU election manifesto

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The CLA has set out its vision for agricultural reform in Europe through its manifesto for the European Parliament elections.

In Enabling the Countryside to Thrive, the CLA is making practical recommendations to improve the north’s rural economy ahead of the elections on 22 May.

CLA North Regional Director of Policy & Public Affairs Douglas Chalmers said: “From the economy, to the food we eat, to the environment we live in, the EU affects us all.

“Our manifesto calls for widespread reform to enable the UK countryside to thrive.

“Rural businesses matter. They provide jobs and generate income. However, poor infrastructure and technology is a major frustration that undermines growth and we need specific policies to enable growth.”

The CLA has written to more than 40 of this year’s candidates in the north with its proposals that would help to create the conditions for rural businesses to prosper, support greater innovation in food and fibre production, and encourage more action supporting the environment.

Douglas added: “MEPs need to recognise the specific needs of these businesses so that issues such as poor broadband do not stifle the rural economy.

“The world’s population is increasing by 75 million a year creating an ever increasing need for food. If this need is to be satisfied, MEPs must take a less risk-averse approach to exploring new technologies and biotechnologies.

“With 60 per cent of people now living in urban areas, the cost of public services such as the protection of landscape and heritage provided by landowners and land managers in the countryside is often undervalued.”

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