Brexit has major implications for UK agriculture. PAN UK is calling on the government to take this opportunity to create a new agricultural system that works for farmers and the environment by replacing the flawed common agricultural policy with a new system that rewards farmers for looking after our environment; gives smaller farmers a greater share of the subsidies; and supports organic agriculture. Brexit should not be an excuse to roll back environmental protection, in fact we should do more to boost biodiversity and cut pesticide use.
The UK’s decision to leave the EU has big implications for British agriculture as the UK agricultural sector is heavily influenced by EU policy. Not only is it subject to EU laws – including the Habitats, Water Framework, and Sustainable Use [of pesticides] Directives – but it is also dependent on the convoluted and flawed subsidy regime that is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Unraveling this package is fraught with risks, but it also presents a unique opportunity to shape UK agriculture for a generation to come.
One of the key issues will be how any changes to the current regulations on pesticides are adapted. Defra has stated that “the UK government will also be reviewing pesticide rules as part of the preparation for EU exit.” It is vital that there is no weakening of existing regulations that are currently in place and that the UK develops a robust, sustainable pesticide regulatory system that ensures the most hazardous pesticides are taken out of use and that there is an overall goal of reducing significantly the use of all pesticide throughout UK agriculture.
Read our five-point plan (below) for a more sustainable UK farming sector below.
More evidence linking neonicotinoid insecticides to large scale bee declines has been published adding more weight to PAN UK's call for a permanent ban on the use of all neonicotinoids in the UK.
A new report examining the effects neonicotinoid pesticides on wild bee populations in England was published on 16th August in the journal Nature. The study, led by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, clearly shows that wild bee populations have suffered large scale and long term declines since the introduction of neonicotinoid insecticides. The report itself is based on a correlational study looking to see if there are significant relationships between data on wild bee populations and incidence and data on oilseed rape acreages and neonicotinoid treatment over an 18 year period before and after the introduction of neonicotinoids to the UK (1994-2011). While this does not provide absolute proof, if that were even possible, it does provide an extremely convincing association that adds significantly to the already large body of scientific evidence showing that neonicotinoids cause harm to wild bees and other pollinator species.
PAN UK's Policy Officer, Nick Mole, has provided an up to date list of the status of all the places around the world that are in the process of banning Glyphosate. It is possible to go pesticide free in our towns and cities. Check out the list to see who is leading the way. This list is not comprehensive however so if you have any additional information please contact us at
Welcome to our campaign to make UK towns and cities pesticide-free. Many of the pesticides used in our urban areas can cause serious illnesses like cancers and birth defects. Children are particularly vulnerable. Hundreds of towns around the world have already gone pesticide-free. It's time for the UK to follow.
Become part of a new movement and join our campaign to persuade UK towns and cities to Go Pesticide-Free!