After a number of weeks of uncertainty about the future of Government funding for Farmers and a halt being called on all funding applications in progress until clear guidance was received from the Government, it was with great relief that Philip Hammond (Chancellor of the Exchequer) stated on the 16th August 2016 that structural and investment fund projects signed before the Autumn Statement would be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave Europe. He then went on to say that the Government would match the current level of agricultural funding until 2020, providing certainty to the agricultural community which plays a vital role in our country.
Therefore, if you have an application in progress or you want to apply for an agri-environmental scheme and you want to be sure of receiving the funding under the current rules, you must aim to get your application in as soon as possible to receive approval before the Autumn Statement. Unfortunately we do not know the exact date of the Autumn Statement and, as it can be anytime between October and early December, quick action will be needed to ensure agreements are obtained before October in case it is held at the earliest opportunity.
There is also a promise that further details will be released soon relating to the funding of projects which fall into the period between the Autumn Statement and the date we eventually leave the EU. So, for those of you with agreements ending at the end of this year and over the next few years, it is still a matter of waiting to see what options may be available to you.
With regards to the future for British Farming, the NFU have launched their option paper and are having meetings across the country over the next couple of weeks to discuss their proposals in what is the largest consultation in a generation, before they share their views with MP’s on the 14th September 2016 when they hold their Back British Farming Day.
If you want more details on these consultations see www.nfuonline.com/news/farming-and-the-eu/eu-referendum-rh-panel/nfu-launches-post-brexit-options-paper, as these meetings do provide an opportunity for you to express your opinions and to gain an understanding of what the NFU think the future of British Farming should look like.
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