NFU responds to Treasury's £3 billion funding for farming for 2020

The Chancellor has today confirmed nearly £3 billion of funding for 2020 to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU. The cash injection will maintain the level of funding for Direct Payments at the same rate as last year.

Sajid Javid confirmed the cash will be used to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU. 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.

NFU Director of EU Exit, Nick von Westenholz, 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.

Nick von Westenholz_64574

Pictured: Nick von Westenholz

"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.

"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."

More details of how the funding will be spread over two financial years can be found in the Treasury's news release here.

  • Posted by: Kevin HawesPosted on: 04/01/2020 00:48:08

    Comment: While this gives some reassurance for 2020, the financial commitment to 2021 is far smaller. This is far too short a timescale to be able to plan on. The decision I made in 2019 on how many cows to put to the bull will give me a given number of calves in spring 2020 that wont be sold until 2021. With little clarity about the market that in 2021, what financial support will be available then, and whether or not foreign imports will have to meet UK standards, how are farmers supposed to cope with the uncertainty? Our European competitors will have a much clearer outlook, and presumably will still be able to sell into the UK market.