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UK News

Christian charity welcomes Gove's 'green Brexit' vision

by Eno Adeogun

In his first speech in the role, Michael Gove - who is also a Christian - said farm subsidies will have to be earned rather than just handed out in future as they currently are under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy.

If farmers don't agree to protect the environment and enhance rural life, they may find themselves without payouts.

Andy Lester, Director of Conservation at AROCHA - an international network of environmental organizations with a Christian ethos - told Premier he welcomed Mr Gove's plans.

During News Hour he said: "When I was last on Premier a couple of weeks ago, I was lambasting the fact that we had a new environment secretary who we didn't think would be up to the job.

"So this is actually quite encouraging to be able to come on the programme and say 'he's actually making some very sound statements' and we're quite encouraged about what we're hearing today."

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Mr Gove has already said British farmers, who receive £3bn worth of subsidies from the EU every year, will continue to receive the same level of funding until at least the end of 2022.

The Tenant Farmers' Association - which represents tenant farmers in England and Wales - has called for the same amount of money to remain after that time.

Mr Gove said leaving the EU would provide a "once in a lifetime opportunity to reform how we manage agriculture and fisheries, how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas, how we recast our ambition for our country's environment, and the planet".

Speaking on the significance of the Environment Secretary's ambition, Lester said: "I think it's our Christian duty and our responsibility to care for the planet that we have.

"We are called to look after it in the words of Psalm 24 and therefore it really should matter to us what happens to our nature and our environment - particularly for our future generations."

Listen to Andy Lester, Director of Conservation at AROCHA, speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

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