As I said in my reply to the hon. Member on 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1216W, the UK supported abolishing set-aside in the CAP ‘Health Check’, but made it clear that adequate measures were needed to mitigate adverse environmental consequences. We were successful in achieving a new legal basis which allows member states to use cross-compliance for this purpose.
On 4 March 2009 DEFRA launched a 12-week public consultation on proposed changes to cross-compliance, including recapturing the environmental benefits of set-aside. The consultation ends on 27 May and Ministers will be considering these responses before making a decision. It is anticipated that any measures, would be introduced from 2010 onwards.