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By Earl Russell
Press releases

Michael Gove reveals plans to shift subsidies from rich farmers to environmental schemes after Brexit

John Ashmore

2 min read

Michael Gove has outlined plans to move hundreds of millions of pounds in farm subsidies from the wealthiest farmers to pay for environmental schemes after Brexit. 

Farmers currently receive around £3bn a year in handouts as part of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, with payments mainly linked to the amount of land on a farm. 

The Environment department has proposed two possible models for a transition away from CAP - payments will either be capped at £100,000 per farm, or reduced more gradually.

Some bigger landowners could stand to lose as much as £75,000 a year after the changes come into force, with around £150m in funding earmarked for environmentally friendly schemes. 

Farmers will also be given new incentives to improve animal welfare, reduce the use of pesticides and trial new technologies. 

Mr Gove has already told farmers they will have five years from March of next year to prepare for the new system.

"It's been the case in the past that we have put too much emphasis on trying to generate a form of farming that is neglectful of the environment," the Environment Secretary told the BBC

"Now the balance has shifted...and this command paper today backs farmers who want to do the right thing.

"We're not going to give you money simply on the basis that you've already got a big estate.

"We'll only give you money if you are contributing to the environment, making sure we have fewer floods, making sure that there are habits for the wildlife that we value, making sure that our water, our rivers are cleaner, and that our air is purer."

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