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Landmark Agriculture Bill introduced to Parliament

Landmark Agriculture Bill introduced to Parliament

12 Sep 2018

Today, a landmark new Agriculture Bill has been introduced to Parliament by Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove. 

The Agriculture Bill describes how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding. This will replace the current system of Direct Payments, which pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed. 

The Bill sets out a new Environmental Land Management system which will pay the farmers and land managers who provide the greatest environmental benefits the largest rewards. 

Direct Payments will continue through 2020, subject to simplifications where possible. There will then be an agricultural transition period in England between 2021 and 2027 as payments are gradually phased out.

There has also been funding allocated to bringing farmers together to collaboratively develop research projects they need to improve sustainability and productivity. 

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

"The introduction of the Agriculture Bill is an historic moment as we leave the EU and move towards a brighter future for farming. After nearly 50 years of being tied to burdensome and outdated EU rules, we have an opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit. This Bill will allow us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations. Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead."

Further information on the new Agriculture Bill can be found here

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