Michael Gove tells farmers they must earn their subsidies as part of a "Green Brexit"

Helen Cahill
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Gove will say he is trying to promote a "Green Brexit" (Source: Getty)

Environment secretary Michael Gove is expected to tell farmers today that they must earn their subsidies as part of his plans for a "Green Brexit".

He will say farmers will only be entitled to taxpayers' money if they guard the environment and promote rural life.

Read more: It turns out farming is more digital than finance

Under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, farmers are given money based on how much land they own.

However, Gove will argue today that this amounts to handing money to the "already wealthy".

Gove is expected to say: "Leaving the EU gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas, how we recast our ambition for our country's environment, and the planet.

"In short, it means delivering a Green Brexit.

"The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rewards size of land-holding ahead of good environmental practices, puts resources in the hands of the already wealthy, and encourages patterns of land use which are wasteful of natural resources."

The announcement comes after the BBC revealed that taxpayers were handing £400,000 a year to a billionaire Saudi price to subsidise his farm in Newmarket.

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