On January 31, the UK left the European Union, and at the start of the year the post-withdrawal transition period ends. Now the British government has introduced parts of the agricultural policy that will be implemented in England next.
According to the Swedish radio, after the end of the year, the new English agricultural policy will enter a new period of transition. During that period, English farmers will be able to maintain the same levels of support for agriculture as they were during EU membership. After that, the subsidies will gradually be replaced by the subsidies which will largely depend on the production of the farms, for example the type of animal husbandry. The goal, according to the British government, is to contribute, among other things, to better animal husbandry and more sustainable production methods.
“We will reward farmers for doing things differently, for producing in a more sustainable way,” British Agriculture Minister George Eustis told the BBC.
According to Swedish Radio, the plans must have been admired by both agricultural and environmental organizations. However, the British Farmers Trade Union is calling for more clarity about what future support should look like in detail, and according to the radio channel the organization fears that the policy over time will lead to a significant loss of income for many farms. Critics also fear that the new policy may lead to an increase in food imports.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have their own agricultural policies and it is not clear if they will follow the English example.
The article was published on Tuesday 01 December 2020
– – –