Written Statement - Launch of Brexit Our Land
Today I am pleased to launch a consultation seeking views on proposals for a post Brexit Land Management Programme for Wales.
Welsh land matters to us all. It supports livelihoods, anchors communities and generates vital natural resources we all rely on. The people who manage it contribute a huge amount to our country.
Leaving the EU presents significant challenges, however we have a unique opportunity to put in place bespoke Welsh policy which delivers for our economy, society and natural environment. We must take it.
There is an overwhelming case for supporting land managers and this paper puts forward our proposals for ambitious reform. Earlier this year, after extensive discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, I announced my five core principles which underpin my vision for a new Welsh land management policy.
Following this, we are now proposing a new Land Management Programme to replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Wales in its entirety. The Programme consists of two over-arching schemes: the Economic Resilience scheme and the Public Goods scheme. The Economic Resilience scheme will provide targeted investment to both land managers and their supply chains. The Public Goods scheme will provide support to deliver more public goods from the land and, in return provide a new income stream for land managers.
To underpin both these schemes we believe there is a good case for fairer, simpler and more coherent regulation
The Programme marks a significant change. We want to see a phased transition which balances time needed for change with the need to provide timely support. No changes will be made to the existing Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in 2018 and 2019 and all current Glastir contracts will continue to be honoured. From 2020, work will begin to move to the new schemes, including a phased reduction in BPS as new schemes come on-stream. The ambition is to have the new schemes fully in place by 2025 using existing high-performing Rural Payments Wales systems.
We are grateful for the help and energy of all Welsh stakeholders who have come together to aid this work. We will continue these discussions as we prepare detailed plans, bring forward legislation and implement change.
I welcome your views on whether the proposals in the consultation will help us deliver our long term objectives. The consultation will close on 30 October 2018. Following this, we will publish a further, detailed consultation next spring and we intend to bring forward primary legislation to make provision for reform. Our ambition is to publish a Bill before the end of this Assembly term in 2021.