Thursday, 7 February 2019
The UK Agriculture Bill
What does it mean?
With the exit from the EU getting ever closer it’s about time we decoded the bill that sets out the future of Agricultural Regulation, Trade and Support. But is it good news or bad? There is a long way to go before we can answer that question with confidence, but these are some of the questions raised and things that may come into force over the coming years.
WHAT DOES THE UK AGRICULTURE BILL MEAN TO US?
It allows farmers and landowners to earn money from:
- Sale of goods/products
- Providing environmental goods/services.
- Gives UK power to make own decisions on domestic agricultural support and industry standards
- Gives UK power to make new deals with WTO and make decisions about how UK products and Rest of World products interact and trade.
WHAT DOES THE UK AGRICULTURE BILL DO?
- It authorises new expenditure for agricultural support
- Makes provision for how direct payments, food traceability and market standards will be implemented
- Confers power on UK Government to make trade decisions and deals with WTO and modify EU legislation to respond to agricultural markets
- But maybe it gives too much power to government creating another level of uncertainty?
HOW WILL THE UK AGRICULTURE BILL EFFECT US?
- Be aware long term FBT’s may include lengthy clauses relating to financial support/regulation/farmer responsibilities/ compensation etc. This will be unavoidable until the future is clearer
- De-linked payments – eligibility based on ‘entitlement’ to payment in a previous year (or period of years) not necessarily JUST those that did claim
- No need to be a farmer – land occupation may not be necessary in order to claim payments
- Entitlements to fall away
- There may be an option for a lump sum payment
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW…
- How an extension to the implementation period/Article 50 extension/people’s vote impact the bill
- The start date for delinked payments
- When the reference period is
- Transferability of the right to delinked payments
- Length of transition
THE TIMELINE WE ARE LOOKING AT:
- BPS & CSS to continue
- Trials being undertaken for future environmental schemes (ES)
- BPS continues (with some simplifications)
- CSS to continue
- Trials for future ES continue
- Future animal welfare standards defined
- First year of reductions to BPS. CSS to continue (uncertain)
- Environmental Land Management (ELM) Trials to begin
- Animal Welfare trials and tests
- Targeted investment into R&D and innovation
2022 – 2026
- Further BPS reductions. Last CSS agreements (uncertain)
- Trials for ELM/Animal Welfare continue
- Investment for R&D and innovation to continue
- End of the transition period – END OF BPS
- ELM / Animal Welfare Schemes fully operational
We will help to support you through this period of uncertainty and beyond. Get in touch with our team if you have any questions. All our contact details are at the bottom of this page: https://www.howkinsandharrison.co.uk/farm-and-rural/