Update 2 April. Late last night, the government announced it was abandoning it plants to take the country vegan. This comes after ministers learnt that plants feel distress when pruned. 

In a surprise move today, the government announced it would ban meat eating by 2042 as part of its commitment meet climate change targets.

The move comes after prime minister Rishi Sunak and energy and net zero secretary Grant Shapps failed to impress with Thursday’s launch of Powering Up Britain. Critics said the UK could not meet the target of a net zero Britain by 2050 without further action.

Today, the government published a suite of documents setting out a roadmap to a meat free Britain.

In a statement this morning, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I am committed to a net zero Britain by 2050. We are determined to take the bull by the horns to meet that commitment. Under a Conservative leadership, Britain will become meat free by 2042.

Mr Sunak continued:

“I realise that this will be a significant challenge for Britain’s farmers. We will give them significant support in finding other uses for their land, including for wind farms, solar farms, arable use and forestry. We will bring forward legislation to allow genetic editing of crops to ensure they can grow on a wider range of soils.

“By introducing the Vegan Britain Bill after the Easter recess, I will ensure that we will never have a salad shortage in Great Britain again. Never again will people be told to eat turnips instead of tomatoes.”

A briefing accompanying the prime minister’s statement said to promote the new vegan lifestyle the government will launch an extensive public awareness campaign featuring celebrities and prominent figures who have already embraced veganism. Gordon Ramsay, Stella McCartney and Lewis Hamilton are understood to have been approached. A free recipe book will be issued to every household. Free workshops will be available to help people adapt to the new dietary guidelines. Veganism will be taught as part of the school curriculum.

Mark Spencer, the minister for food and farming is understood to be less keen on the proposals. Sources close to him said he will be sitting down to a roast beef dinner tomorrow and he expects to still be doing so in 2050.

Trade minister Greg Hands would not comment on how veganism will affect Britain’s recently signed international trade deals.

Labour said they would abolish any measures brought in once it came to power. Ed Davey, leader of the Lib Dems called for a referendum on the proposals. The bill is also expected to meet strong opposition in the House of Lords where members fear they will be up for abolition next. Lord Baron of Beef said: “Looks like we will be dead meat very soon.”

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales has called for an emergency meeting of the Senedd this afternoon. A spokesperson said the meeting will concentrate on protecting the nation’s ten million sheep and may also approve an emergency fund to boost leek production.

The government’s move was not welcomed by the Scottish Green Party. First Minister, Humza Yousaf, called the move English stupidity and a further reason for a referendum on Scottish independence. He said he would give every schoolchild in Scotland a free meal of haggis, tatties and neeps at the start of a campaign to promote conservation of the critically endangered haggis scotticus.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street warned the proposals would bring disharmony. The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner asked police in Birmingham to be on standby in case of protests to protect the Balti. Richard Flinton, the first leader of the new North Yorkshire Council said he would do everything in his powers to protect the traditional Sunday lunch with its world famous Yorkshire Pudding.

Shropshire Council’s leader said: “In Shropshire, we will do everything we can do support farmers in this county through what will be a difficult transition.”

Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North said: “History shows most government policies don’t succeed and I am sure that will be the fate of this policy. I doubt it will last the day.”

7 thought on “Rishi Sunak announces meat ban to meet climate targets: reaction”
  1. How dare you dictate what we eat.
    Be time for a revolution soon and put a stop to all this fear mongering.
    We’ll be expected to eat artificial ” meat”
    manufactured from all sorts of biologically and genetically altered chemical substances that will be designed to keep us ill and require us to consume countless new drugs to counter the effects…….long live big Pharma !!! Lol 🤨🥴
    On your bike Sunak and your cronies .

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