October 2018 – Cheaper Land

29 March 2019 will be a watershed. Currently, the 33.6 million that voted in the referendum watch with increasing disbelief as UK leaders attempt to negotiate an exit from the European Union while parties fight openly among themselves. And as for the exit process this appears to do no more than stagger from side to side like a passenger aboard a cross channel ferry in rough seas! Nevertheless, the prime minister is emphatic we will leave the EU next year, we just have to wait to see if that is with or without a deal!

As divorce edges nearer most want the answer to one key question “How will departure impact the wider economy and, more particularly, individual sectors?”  From one perspective, the future for the UK land-based sector became clearer on 12 September when Michael Gove, secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, released the Agriculture Bill outlining how subsidies will work after we leave the EU. In the simplest terms the Bill proposes that by 2027 direct payments based on the quantity of land held by a farmer or land owner will be reduced to zero. A new scheme, Environmental Land Management (ELM), will be available from 2025 which will reward occupiers for managing their land in an environmentally sympathetic way. To justify the billion or two needed to fund the new scheme the government has adopted the phrase “public money for public goods”. We must wait to see what that actually means!


 Article by Matthew Berryman Open PDF

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