Power to provide for phasing out direct payments and delinked payments

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 1st November 2018.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:30 pm, 1st November 2018

I understand my right hon. Friend’s point, but of course we must view all this in the context of a seven-year transition period, at the end of which it is our objective and our vision that there will be no basic payment scheme as it is known today. What we would envisage happening in those scenarios is that we would free up land for new entrants to come in, who would get used to working in a different way from the start.

It would be quite possible, for instance, to prioritise the roll-out of a new scheme to those new entrants coming on to land that had been exited and was no longer eligible for the BPS payment. I would also envisage that some of those new entrants coming on to that land would also be likely to qualify for the productivity support. We have to see all this in the context of the fact that we do not want a single farm payment to be carrying on forever. We have set a clear pathway to move to a different approach over a seven-year transition period.