Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Agriculture Bill to be published today

The Agriculture Bill which sets out the framework for domestic agricultural policy after Brexit is to be published today: Delivering a green Brexit

Direct payments will be paid much as at present in 2019 and 2020. They will then be phased out between 2021 and 2027 which gives farmers plenty of time to adjust, although the fact remains that many of them are reliant on these payments to make a profit.

Those with the highest payments will see the biggest reductions initially. This will have popular support, but it may also affect the ability of more efficient farms to invest and improve productivity.

However, there will be measures to improve productivity and invest in R and D. As with much else, the devil will be in the detail.

The Defra statement makes no mention of devolution and it as well remember that this is essentially a measure for England. The distribution of responsibilities and cash between Westminster and the devolved administrations has yet to be agreed and remains controversial.

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