George Eustice returns to Defra

George Eustice has returned to Defra after quitting his ministerial role at the department earlier this year in protest at the government’s Brexit policy.

Eustice replaced Robert Goodwill, who has held the post  of farming minister for just a few months. The team that will serve under new Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers has a familiar look – Thérèse Coffey, who is promoted to minister of state, Lord Gardiner and David Rutley all continue at the department.

Eustice first became a Defra minister in 2015. He campaigned for Leave in the 2016 referendum, arguing that farmers would be better off freed from the grip of Brussels regulation.

When he resigned in February, ahead of the UK’s planned March departure from the EU, Eustice said he was doing so with ‘tremendous sadness’ because he wanted to be ‘free to participate in the critical debate that will take place in the weeks ahead’.

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