Government in video gaffe after shots of EU farms used to promote post-Brexit plans

PUBLISHED: 10:46 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:56 19 September 2018

The opening to Defra's new video on the agriculture bill (Photograph: Defra)

The opening to Defra's new video on the agriculture bill (Photograph: Defra)


Michael Gove's department has been forced to delete a video promoting UK farming after Brexit - because it featured stock images of farms from EU countries.

An image of a farm inspector in a cow shed was taken in Slovenia (Photograph: Defra)An image of a farm inspector in a cow shed was taken in Slovenia (Photograph: Defra)

The mistake was spotted shortly after the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) unveiled the video promoting what they claim will be a “historic moment” for farmers when the UK leaves the EU.

But rather than use photographs from the UK to promote the country’s “brighter future for farming” the video features idyllic shots of farms overseas in EU countries.

As Farmers Weekly reports, the government used the video to pledge a reduction in red tape for farmers after Brexit, but used a still of a farmer inspecting a cow shed in Slovenia.

A pledge to improve air and water quality when Britain leaves the European Union was accompanied by an aerial shot of a German farm.

An aerial shot of a field in Germany (Photograph: Defra)An aerial shot of a field in Germany (Photograph: Defra)

Defra said it had produced the eye-catching video to outline plans to farmers to avoid the need to read pages and pages of the government’s post-Brexit Agriculture Bill, but it appears to have irked them instead.

Stuart Roberts, vice-president of the National Farmers Union, tweeted: “Come on @DefraGovUK we have some of the best farms in Europe working to some of the highest standards in the world.

“If showcasing future UK agriculture policy surely we must use UK farms not German or Slovenian ones.”

The video was removed from YouTube but was still available on social media at the time of writing.

A spokesman for Defra said: “We have requested that the agency responsible for creating this video replace the relevant images and made it clear we expect higher standards in the future.”

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