New proposals will see the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy replaced after Brexit with subsidy system based less on farm size.
Farmers are to be rewarded for protecting the environment, improving access to the countryside and boosting animal welfare under proposals outlined in the government’s Agriculture Bill.
Currently, British farmers get around £3.4bn a year in subsidies under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with the money distributed in the main on the basis of the size of the farm.
The new bill, which will replace the CAP after Brexit, will include a government pledge to maintain the same level of funding for the duration of the current parliament.
But, crucially, the focus for the reward of subsidies will switch from size to protecting land, water and air, supporting thriving plants and wildlife, tackling climate change, maintaining beautiful landscapes, improving public access and boosting animal health and welfare.
There will also be more emphasis on food production and the bill will require the government to report regularly on food security.