Theresa Villiers’ speech at the Oxford Farming Conference this week included the information that an updated Agriculture Bill will return to Parliament later this month. She gave the same timescales as in the original Bill – ie that the transition period will begin in 2021 when Defra will start to reduce Direct Payments in England in a “fair and progressive way”. The money withdrawn from the Direct Payments system will be used to launch the national pilot for the Environmental Land Management scheme in 2021 with the scheme rolled out in 2024. We will need to wait for the Agriculture Bill to be published to see whether there are any changes compared to the original version published in September 2018, but interestingly the timescales do not appear to have changed – ie the proposal is for direct payments to be reduced from 2021 and for the new ELM scheme to be rolled out in 2024. Her full speech can be viewed on the following link: A Vision for Future Farming.