Michael Gove: farmers who protect the countryside will be rewarded most when Brexit ends 'perverse' EU farm subsidies
Farmers who receive the biggest EU subsidies hit with massive cuts
Farmers who protect the countryside will be first in the queue for post-Brexit state subsidies as they are freed from the “perverse” constraints of EU rules on handouts, Michael Gove says today.
The Environment Secretary will announce a new system of “public money for public goods” that will replace the EU’s controversial Common Agricultural Policy, which enriches the wealthiest landowners.
The Agriculture Bill, which will be introduced in Parliament today, is the first piece of legislation to detail exactly how any one sector of the economy will change after Brexit.
Writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, Mr Gove says the Bill ensures that farmers will “at last” be properly rewarded for the work they do “to enhance the environment around us”.
Instead of CAP payments being handed out by Brussels on the basis of how much land a farmer owns, farmers will be given state aid on the basis of producing high quality food in a more sustainable way.
They will also be incentivised to look after hedgerows and other wildlife habitats and provide greater public access to their land by maintaining footpaths, dry stone walls, stiles and gates.
Mitigating against climate change by planting trees and preventing flooding will be rewarded, as will improvements in soil health, water quality, air quality, biodiversity and carbon reduction.
Mr Gove says Britain’s farmers have been “held back by the stifling rules and often perverse incentives of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy”.