Sky Views: Brexit could restore our ‘green and pleasant’ land

Honeybees flying away

Honeybees flying away

Leaving the EU could spell the end of regulations that have set food standards and environmental protection for decades.

Sam Kiley, Foreign Affairs Editor, article originally published here

Britain is in retreat. Brexit talks are a shambles.

Even those who voted “out of the EU” over a rose-tinted bogus nostalgia for a Britain that never existed must be feeling a little queasy as the United Kingdom shows signs of falling apart and drifting into the north Atlantic like an iceberg.

But here is a thought.

Britain could lead the world once more. Really lead it. Set an example, by Jingo!

Doing so would restore our “green and pleasant land”. It would avoid turning the country into the unregulated brothel that some Brexiteers secretly hope will be the only way to rescue the nation from penury.

Indeed it could turn England’s mountains green, well, green again – in fact multi-coloured. Fecund with wild flowers, wild daffodils and buzzing with bees.

Massive ice shelf breaks away from Antarctic
Image:A massive ice shelf breaks away from Antarctic

That was a clue – bees.

An unprecedented die off of insects has hit the west. Most scientists seem to blame pesticides.

Without them, we will starve – there simply is no better way of pollinating plants than mother nature and her best workers are those honey giving insects now spilling dead from their hives.



Global warming looks like it is accelerating – and could get much worse very fast.

If the Asian permafrost melts and sea temperatures rise, the whole planet may start burping deadly levels of methane.

The future is pretty ghastly.

But Britannia can be cool again.

Escape from the EU could be seen as an opportunity to end regulations that have set food standards and environmental protection for decades.

Let’s turn these islands entirely green – compulsory organic farming. Now. Or rather once we are out of the EU. Sam Kiley

Much of this has been to the advantage of Johnnie Foreigner over on the Continent – at least that is how many British farmers seem to have seen things.

How about more regulation?

Yup. Let’s regulate the heck out of Britain.

No more pesticides. No more nitrates running off our fields into the rivers and seas choking them with algae blooms.

No more factory farms. No more cheap meat. No more conventional agriculture.

Let’s turn these islands entirely green – compulsory organic farming. Now. Or rather once we are out of the EU.

Organic farms are about 10 to 20% less productive than the conventional chemical way of doing things. But they employ more people, who live healthier lives.

They absorb more moisture, they require no bonus funding for “set aside” to allow wildlife to exist.

They are less efficient at producing the cheap meat that is poisoning our youth and turning vast numbers of Britons into spam-based creatures slowly expiring from diabetes.

Organic produce sells for on average about 25% more than the conventional stuff. So exports would go up, or at least perhaps cover the fall in production levels.

And as for the cost of food?

It will be more expensive. It will be better for us.