A new Farm Payments Bill has been introduced to ensure farmers continue to receive direct payments for the 2020 scheme year.
The government put forward the Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) (DPLC) Bill on Thursday (9 January) to 'provide continuity for farmers and ensure subsidies are paid this year'.
It follows Chancellor Savid Javid's recent announcement confirming the same level of funding for direct payments for 2020 as for 2019.
After this, the Agriculture Bill will be introduced to parliament later this month, Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers confirmed earlier this week.
It sets out to provide a new system of farm support, moving away from direct payments in England towards an approach where farmers are paid public money for the ‘public goods’.
This includes measures such as enhancing air and water quality, tackling climate change or improving animal welfare.
A Defra spokesperson said: “Leaving the EU means we can take back control of agricultural policy and fund our own farm payments domestically.
“The legislation we have introduced enables us to make Direct Payments to farmers for the 2020 scheme year – giving much-welcomed certainty to our farmers and food producers.
“The Agriculture Bill, which will shortly be returning to the Commons, will see us move towards a new system that rewards farmers for enhancing the environment and producing the food we all enjoy in a sustainable way.”
The legislation is being put in place in time for UK withdrawal from the EU, the government spokesperson added.