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Michael Gove: Farming subsidies must be earned after Brexit

Michael Gove: Farming subsidies must be earned after Brexit
2 min read

Farmers will only get taxpayer subsidies after Brexit if they do more to protect the environment, Michael Gove will say today.

In a major speech pledging a "green Brexit", the Environment Secretary will pledge to scrap the current EU policy which sees farmers claim funds based on the amount of land they own.

Mr Gove will say that puts resources in the hands of the wealthy rather than those who work hard to protect the rural way of life.

“Leaving the EU gives us a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas, how we recast our ambition for our country’s environment, and the planet. In short, it means delivering a Green Brexit," he will say in a speech later today.

“The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rewards size of land-holding ahead of good environmental practice, puts resources in the hands of the already wealthy, and encourages patterns of land use which are wasteful of natural resources.”

The government has promised to keep overall payments at the same level until 2022.

Mr Gove will add that protecting the “human ecology” of Britain’s countryside is vital, where farming without subsidy is not possible.

“There are very good reasons why we should provide support for agriculture. 70% of our land is farmed - beautiful landscape has not happened by accident but has been actively managed.

“Agriculture is an industry more susceptible to outside shocks and unpredictable events - whether it’s the weather or disease. So financial assistance and mechanisms which can smooth out the vicissitudes farmers face make sense."

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