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Incorporation of EU legislation governing the CAP direct payment schemes

Part of Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:32 pm on 28th January 2020.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 12:32 pm, 28th January 2020

It is important to recognise that a significant proportion of sheep farmers in particular do not receive the basic payment scheme area payment, because they are on contract farm agreements and the landlord receives that money. Nevertheless, the hon. Gentleman makes an important point. I think the principle of investing in public goods has support across the House, but we need to strike this new course sensitively and ensure that agriculture remains profitable. We want a vibrant and profitable agriculture industry, which is why the Agriculture Bill also makes provision for payments to improve productivity, and sets a quite long transition period of seven years, so that we can gradually phase out the old legacy scheme. He will be reassured to hear that the Bill before us makes no changes at all for the coming year. Farmers in his constituency can rest assured that once this Bill is passed, the direct payment scheme will operate this year in exactly the same way as it has in previous years.