The Great Repeal Bill White Paper fails to give a clear commitment to carrying across the general principles in the EU treaties that underpin land use policy, such as the goals of sustainable development and a high level of environmental protection, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle.
The UK government is working on a 25 year plan for the environment, which is expected to sit alongside a 25 year food and farming plan. Together, these are expected to set out the direction for future land use policy after the UK leaves the EU. However, the publication of both plans has been beset with delays for more than a year and there is still no confirmed date. It remains unclear whether the plans would apply to England only, or across the whole of the UK.
The government has stated its intention to reshape agricultural support to deliver multiple benefits, including sustainable land management. However, it has not yet committed to core principles for delivery, such as a principle of payments for public goods, rather than historical or area-based payments.