WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine has welcomed a consultation which he says is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ for landowners and farmers to shape the future of English farming and the environment to ensure we create more resilient habitats, richer wildlife, healthier rivers and cleaner water.

The Government is consulting over what may replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) once the UK leaves the European Union.

Environment secretary Michael Gove has suggested farmers could be paid not on their acreage but what they do for the environment.

Mr Brine said: “Farmers, landowners and food producers have an opportunity to shape the future of English farming and the environment with this consultation.

“I have been clear locally that this area is one of my key interests as we leave the EU, and we will deliver a farming policy which works for the whole industry, ensuring we leave our environment in a better state for future generations.”

The government’s proposals will see money redirected from direct payments under the CAP, which are based on the amount of land farmed, to a new system of paying farmers ‘public money for public goods’ - principally their work to enhance the environment and invest in sustainable food production.

In the meantime, the government will commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this Parliament, due to be in 2022.

Mr Brine added: “We have also set out proposals for an ‘agricultural transition’ lasting a number of years beyond the implementation period during which direct payments would continue providing stability and certainty for farmers as they prepare for the new system.

“We have an historic opportunity to deliver a farming policy which works for the whole industry. I am delighted the government is asking for the views of those who will be affected to make sure we get this right so any future schemes reflect the reality of life for famers and food producers, and I have already been in touch with the local NFU to urge them to take part.”

You can access the consultation via