‘Brexit an opportunity to rebalance British farming’

London, Jan 4 (IANS) A new report by a think-tank sees Brexit as an opportunity to reshape the British farming industry to support small producers, instead of subsidising landowners.

The report by sustainability focused think-tank, the New Economics Foundation, said that a “new deal” for British farmers could save the taxpayer £1.1 billion and radically alter British food production, the Independent reported on Wednesday.

The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy currently gives subsidies to farmers linked to the land they control, with wealthy landowners receiving large payouts ahead of small businesses.

According to the report, these payments could be more equitably distributed between large and small scale producers, and prioritised to incentivise both in-demand products and environmental sustainability.

“Some members of the government seem to think that we no longer need to grow food in this country and should instead rely on international trade,” said Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now, an organisation which produces research to expose injustices against the world’s poor.

He said that the new deal is a win for small farmers, for the environment and also a win for the taxpayer. “The only people who won’t be happy are the massive landowners and speculators who will lose their free government money,” he said.

“Brexit has thrown all the pieces into the air, and it’s up to us to shape how they fall,” said an official of the New Economics Foundation.