Nearly £3 billion of funding for 2020 to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU has been confirmed by the Chancellor, Sajid Javid. The cash injection will maintain the level of funding for Direct Payments at the same rate as last year.
The UK will leave the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Direct Payments scheme, which supports farmers across Europe with subsidies in 2020. This will be replaced by a new system based on public money for public goods.
The cash injection will allow the funding for Direct Payments for 2020 to continue at the same level as 2019 and supplement the remaining EU funding that farmers will receive for development projects until 2023 at the latest. The government will guarantee the current annual budget to farmers in every year of the Parliament.
Nick von Westenholz, the NFU’s director of EU Exit, said: “We’re pleased to see this confirmation of the Conservative manifesto commitment to maintain current levels of support, which will provide a degree of certainty and stability for farmers as we enter the critical stage of negotiating our future trading relationships with the EU and other countries in the coming year.
“To ensure a positive outlook for UK farming after we leave the EU the government will need to couple this financial guarantee of support for our industry with a clear-cut commitment that domestic producers will not be unfairly undermined by imports from overseas produced to standards that would be illegal here.”
Mr von Westenholz added: “We are still waiting for the introduction of a council on trade and standards that can advise ministers on our future trade policy and scrutinise the forthcoming negotiations to ensure our high farming standards are not undermined by substandard imports.
“We look forward to working with the government in the months ahead, both in designing and implementing a future agricultural policy that will support sustainable food production in the UK, but also in leading the world in pursuing a progressive and sustainable trade policy that has our high environmental and welfare standards at is heart.”