12 Sep Brexit and the Agriculture Bill

DEFRA have announced their long-awaited Agriculture Bill – this sets out how agricultural policy and payments will be delivered post Brexit – and will undoubtedly have a significant impact on farm businesses decision-making over the next few years.

Key points are:

  • Current subsidy system to be phased out by 2027
  • There will be an agricultural transitional period between 2021 and 2027 as payments are gradually phased out
  • To help new entrants get into the sector and give farmers flexibility to plan for the future, direct payments during the transition period up to 2027 will be “delinked” from the requirement to farm the land
  • A new Environment Land Management Scheme will be launched in place of direct payments.  Under this scheme farmers who provide the greatest environmental benefits will secure the largest rewards. This scheme will be piloted until its full launch in 2025. Up to this point Countryside Stewardship agreements will continue to be offered to land managers
  • The bill will be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in R & D

The agriculture bill confirms DEFRA’s intentions in relation to farm subsidies.  But there are no guarantees that the money available under the new system will match the amount currently paid as direct payments.

There is still huge uncertainty regarding trade issues and potential tariffs and quotas between the UK and EU member states.  The final agreement on these will have an impact on farm gate sale and input prices.

The full briefing paper can be found here.

We provide detailed farming accounts for agricultural clients showing the profitability of each enterprise which will play an important role in farm business decision-making  in the coming years.  If you would like further information please contact us.