The Agriculture Bill was published last week and now gives a clear idea of what the post Brexit policy will be in regards to the future subsidy regime and environmental schemes.

In summary the Basic Payment will be phased out completely by 2028 and will be subject to reductions in payments in the interim periods. It is anticipated that the reductions will be in the range of 5% – 25% depending on claim size in 2021 with reductions rising in subsequent years until the payment is completely phased out by 2028.

Subsidies will also be “de-linked” from the requirement to farm land, potentially enabling retirement with the aim of freeing up the land market. Some of the money is anticipated to go to grants to promote efficiency and production but there will be a limited time to claim this.

Environmental Schemes are envisaged to remain available until 2024 with existing HLS agreements coming to an end between 2019 and 2024 potentially being extendable. A new Environmental Land Management Scheme is intended to be up and running from 2025 following piloting from 2021 and based on a “public money for public goods basis”.

The key facts and timeline of the future direct payments policy are:

  • 2019 and 2020 – The BPS scheme will remain more or less as we know it
  • 2021 – We will see the first reductions in payments as well as “de-linking” potentially coming into play.
  • 2022 – 2027 – BPS will be progressively phased out
  • 2025 – ELM Scheme fully up and running
  • 2028 – The first year of no BPS

There are also provisions for additional productivity measures through funding innovation and research as well as other support for investment in equipment and technologies to help manage risk and improve productivity.

Further details of the new policy and schemes will become clearer over time but we now know for certain that the era of direct subsidies is soon to be over and that businesses will need to plan and adapt to this change.

For more information on farm subsidies contact Mike Cluley on 01684 853400 or