The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that farmers in Scotland will be able to sow their crops and care for their livestock in confidence this year as he announces a £473m cash injection. This will replace funding under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as Britain leaves the EU.
This will supplement the remaining EU funding farmers will receive, allowing Direct Payments for 2020 to continue at the same level as 2019, enabling farmers to plan for the future.
The £473 million UK Government support for Scottish farmers for 2020 is on top the recently announced boost of over £211m, £160 million of which will resolve the issue of historic convergence allocations.
The Common Agricultural Policy is an EU policy that provides financial support to farmers in member states. The Direct Payments scheme forms the majority of spending under the Common Agricultural Policy and provides subsidies to farmers based on the area of land under management.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will leave the EU regime for CAP Direct Payments to farmers in 2020, earlier than all other EU programmes, as 2020 payments are funded from the 2021 EU budget, which the UK is not paying into.
The UK Government will therefore provide additional support of £2.82 billion across the UK to replace funding under the CAP, topping up the remaining EU funding, and matching the total level of support farmers received last year. This will provide certainty for the rural economy.
Commenting John Lamont MP said: “I know that many farmers in the Borders have been concerned since the Brexit vote in 2016 about future farm support payments.
“The Common Agricultural Policy has meant that many farmers in Scotland have been given a poor deal. However, once we leave the EU we will be able to tailor support to suit Scotland’s farmers better.
“In a rural area like the Scottish Borders, farming is vital to the economy. It is encouraging to see the UK Government doing everything they can to support them.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP, said: “When we leave the EU-run Common Agricultural Policy, we will be able to more effectively support our rural communities – who are a such a cornerstone of life in the UK.
“Farmers can enter the New Year with confidence that they will be able to plan for their crops, livestock and land, and deliver their world-class food and drink.”