Treasury announcement on future funding levels for agriculture creates platform of stability

Scotland’s farmers and crofters have a platform of stability following a Treasury statement that agricultural support funding levels will be guaranteed through to the end of 2020.

The announcement, which covers both direct support and existing agri-environment agreements, meets one of NFU Scotland’s key demands issued in the weeks following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

NFU Scotland has previously stated that to secure the levels of food being produced from our farms and crofts in the future, ongoing support remains vitally important. The current CAP package, due to run until 2020, is likely to span the UK’s expected exit from the European Union.

It had called on Government to send out a clear message on its commitment to support levels in the future. The Union now expects that the next four rounds of payments, from now until 2020, will be delivered. That will provide a stable, confident platform going forwards.

Following the statement, NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “The guarantee of the continuation of direct payments to Scottish farmers and crofters is welcome. We had asked that the next four rounds of payments expected as part of the current CAP deal be delivered as planned, and as budgeted for by farmers and crofters.

“Today’s guarantee will provide an anchor of stability in uncertain times and ensure that there is a confident platform on which to negotiate future trading and domestic support arrangements.

“Knowing that the funding to farmers and crofters will continue allows us now to look at what sort of future agricultural policy would best suit Scotland.

“As Government negotiates the UK’s exit from the European Union and develops its new relationship with the EU, we now need to ensure that future deals on tariffs and market access ensure that we have a strong and vibrant domestic farming industry.

“Farming is the start of a multi-billion pound food and drink sector. Future agricultural policy must focus on delivering production that can be used to drive our food and manufacturing sector. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK are dependent upon farming and the Government getting their agricultural policy right.” Ends




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