Farrer on...Don't forget landscape in Brexit debate

I have been bemused by the paucity of the debate on Brexit. The relentless drive to justify and capture everything in a neo-liberal context is irrelevant. For me the scrabbling about propounding spurious figures of how poor we will be if we leave or how much richer we will be if we stay completely misses the point.

I’m interested in quality of life. This inevitably means I have to be able to pay for it, but money is not the major determinant in what I want or choose to do.

We choose our jobs based on criteria including money, but I have never had a member of staff in my office either come or leave where this is the primary consideration. It is the team, the projects, flexibility and the added value to life that determine their choices.

Landscape architects and gardeners understand that it is not money but the consideration of our natural systems and landscapes that will determine a better future for us and for Europe. This will not be determined by money and wealth but by regulation and control. I believe it is inevitable that we move towards a "one world" — if you like, a "one landscape" — approach that promotes collective control.

Can you imagine Brazil choosing to cash the timber crop it has within its borders? We must be able to intervene and say no. Just like our banks, countries require regional or world regulation to secure these wider responsibilities.

The EU is an attempt at regional control, a vehicle for 28 diverse countries to work collectively. The UK is a rich partner — we should and do give. This does not make us poorer, it is an investment in Europe and therefore in our own futures.

However unpopular, disjointed and undemocratic it is, we cannot go back, for that is what regaining our independence is. We must stay in Europe and we must move forward and strive to make it more effective for us all.

Landscape Institute president Noel Farrer is a founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates

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