UK announces post-Brexit farming scheme | Inquirer Business

UK announces post-Brexit farming scheme

/ 08:33 AM January 05, 2024

LONDON, United Kingdom  -The UK on Thursday revealed its long-awaited replacement of the EU’s agricultural support scheme, with new subsidies available for farmers to boost sustainable food production and protect the environment.

Under the new plans unveiled by Environment Secretary Steve Barclay, farmers will be paid for actions taken to maintain habitats and for using new technology to increase yields.

The system replaces the EU’s Basic Payment Scheme, which automatically provided income support for farmers as long as they adhered to rules on human and animal health and welfare, plant health, and the environment.


“We have listened to farmers’ feedback and set out the biggest upgrades to our farming schemes since leaving the EU, with more money, more choice and more trust to support domestic food production whilst also protecting the environment,” said Barclay.


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The government hopes the scheme will strengthen supply chains and help deliver its commitment to domestically produce at least 60 percent of the food eaten within the UK, while also meeting a target to restore at least 30 percent of the country’s natural environment by 2030.

New subsidies will be on offer for farmers taking action to advance agricultural technology, such as robotic mechanical weeding.

There will also be payments to strengthen incentives for farmers to “create habitats and ensure they are rewarded for looking after habitats once they have created them”.

For instance, farmers will receive £765 ($971) per hectare (2.47 acres) for nesting plots for lapwing, and £1,242 per hectare for connecting river and floodplain habitat.

Farmers will be able to submit their applications from this summer, but industry leaders have criticized the government’s approach to post-Brexit agriculture policies.


Outgoing National Farmers Union (NFU) president Minette Batters told the Financial Times last month that they had unfairly benefited large landowners and placed too much emphasis on the environment rather than food production.

She also said that the new system of paying farmers for taking actions rather than the EU’s Basic Payment Scheme meant they were less able to mitigate risks.

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The UK government hopes to take advantage of leaving the EU by striking new trade deals around the world, but farmers have had mixed feelings over the strategy so far.

The NFU criticized new deals with Australia and New Zealand, saying “there will be no limit to the number of goods” the two countries can export to the UK in sectors like beef and lamb, dairy and horticulture.

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But the union applauded news that the UK will join 11 other countries in a major Asia-Pacific trade partnership, saying it “could provide some good opportunities to get more fantastic British food on plates overseas”.

TAGS: Brexit, farming, UK

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