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Agriculture: Subsidies

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL12895, tabled on 16 January 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether farm support will continue in its current form until 2022.

Answered on

30 January 2019

In September last year Defra published, alongside the Agriculture Bill, detail about, and a proposed timeline for, the move away from current Common Agricultural Policy schemes. Our farming reforms will be underpinned by the principle of public money for the provision of public goods. The Bill will provide the legal powers to move away smoothly from the CAP as well as assisting farmers in their central task of producing food for the nation.

The government has pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this parliament, expected in 2022. This includes all funding provided for farm support under both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the current CAP. This commitment applies to the whole UK and provides more certainty than anywhere else in Europe.

We will pay the current Direct Payments for the 2019 scheme year on the same basis as now. The EU rules for the Basic Payment Scheme, greening and young farmer payment will apply throughout the whole of 2019. We also plan to allocate the money paid in Direct Payments for 2020 in much the same way that we do now. We will, however, look to make simplifications to make it easier to apply for and administer Direct Payments to increase value for money.

In 2021 we intend to start making reductions to Direct Payments, marking the beginning of the agricultural transition. This will be accompanied by pilots of our Environmental Land Management scheme and targeted investment in Research and Development and innovation. We aim to phase out Direct Payments completely by the end of the transition, with the last payments being made for the 2027 scheme year.