Agriculture bill to be published in second half of 2018, Gove announces

Defra Secretary Michael Gove was questioned on the Government's 25 Year Plan
Defra Secretary Michael Gove was questioned on the Government's 25 Year Plan

The agriculture bill, first mentioned in last year's Queen's Speech, will be published in the second half of 2018, the government has announced.

Defra Secretary Michael Gove announced the plans during Wednesday's (18 April) Enviromental Audit Committee meeting.

The Committee heard from Mr Gove on questions regarding the oversight, governance, milestones and implementation within Defra.

A key moment for the agricultural industry this year is the anticipated agriculture bill, which is part of eight separate bills which will oversee different branches or departments announced in last year's Queen's Speech.

The other bills include a repeals bill, a customs bill and an immigration bill.

Th agriculture bill will set up a system to support farmers after Brexit takes them out of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). It is still unclear how the bill will operate.

The government is seeking to move away from the current subsidy system for farmers, which is based on the amount of land owned or farmed.

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has said that the "lion's share" of farm subsidies after Brexit should go to support environmental work.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) has said the new bill is proposed to “provide stability” for farmers and ensure an “effective system” of support to replace the Common Agricultural Policy.

The NFU says it presents a once in a generation opportunity to enhance and promote British farming.