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12/09/2018

Gove introduces Agriculture Bill to Parliament

Words: Laura Edgar
Farming and land management / iStock-464700016

Environment secretary Michael Gove has introduce legislation to Parliament that aims to deliver a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations after the UK leaves the European Union next year.

Gove said the Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will be paid for “public goods” such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.

This would replace the Direct Payments subsidy system, which pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed and is described as “ineffective” by the government, skewing payments towards the largest landowners.

The Environmental Land Management system would start next year. The government wants to work with farmers to design, develop and trial the approach, which would see the farmers and land managers that provide the greatest environmental benefits secure the largest rewards.

This, for the government, “lays the foundations for a Green Brexit”.

Gove said: “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.”

The bill also sets out how farmers will be supported as the UK leaves the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Agricultural Bill can be found on the UK Parliament website.

Image credit | iStock

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