The Agriculture Bill was today presented to Parliament outlining a framework for post – BREXIT agriculture policy and providing details of how BPS will be phased out.
The Bill is short on detail and doesn’t give sufficient information on policy, which is needed to allow farmers to properly plan for the future.
For BPS claimants, the 2019 year will remain largely unchanged. 2020 may see some simplification of the scheme, with 2021 seeing payments starting to be reduced. Phasing out of BPS payments is being proposed, with 2027 being the last year of BPS payments.
A new Environmental Land Management scheme will be trialled in 2019 with plans for it to be fully functional by 2025, but again there is no detail or specifics on how this may work. The ELM will see farmers being paid for public goods such as improved soil health, air and water quality etc. The intention is that those farmers providing the largest environmental benefit will get the largest financial rewards.
There is a lot of detail to follow the initial Bill and the Brooks Leney team will be updating clients as this detail becomes clearer. Although further detail is needed, farmers can still start to plan for these changes and the effects they will have on agricultural businesses.