Farmers abandoning agri-environment schemes could be denied future cash

Farmers who abandon agri-environment schemes and return their land to food production should be unable to apply for cash under any future agricultural policy, MPs have been told.   Dr Simon Pryor, natural environment director at The National Trust, made the remarks when giving evidence to Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee before Easter.

Environmental watchdog should be ‘jointly owned’ by all four UK nations

The new environmental watchdog Defra Secretary Michael Gove has promised to set up will be more robust if it is ‘designed and owned jointly’ by all four nations of the UK, according to a new Institute for Government (IFG) report. Last November, Mr Gove took the decision to establish a new English regulator to replace the European Commission, which has taken legal action against the UK several times for failing to meet EU environmental standards.

Devolved nations could have own ring-fenced farming budgets after Brexit

Each nation of the UK could be given its own ringfenced agriculture budget after Brexit, according to a new report from the Institute for Government (IFG).  The option of a new agricultural support budget, protected and separated from the wider devolution budget settlement and ‘block grant’ was one of two future funding possibilities set out by the IFG.

‘Polluter pays’ principle to bump up costs for farmers

Farmers should expect to pay more for fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and slurry storage facilities after the UK leaves the EU, according to a key Government adviser. Professor Dieter Helm, who is chair of the Natural Capital Committee, told Farmers Guardian in an exclusive interview that a ‘more effective application of the polluter pays principle’, proposed in both the 25-Year Environment Plan and the future farming policy consultation, would mean higher costs for farmers.

Deal on transition period delays Agriculture Bill

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has told MPs the UK-EU agreement on a transition deal has delayed publication of the Agriculture Bill. Mr Gove made the remarks when he appeared before the Environmental Audit Committee yesterday.The Bill was originally due to be published in spring, but he admitted the transition deal, due to end on December 31 2020, had taken the urgency out of the situation.