16 August 2016

King West

Brexit: The future funding of EU commitments

Following an announcement by the CAAV, we report that DEFRA has confirmed the following arrangements for the Rural Development Programme;

“All RDP projects, including agri-environmental agreements, signed before the Autumn Statement, will be fully funded, even when these continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. Natural England, Forestry Commission and RPA will shortly be contacting current applicants for funding where decisions can now be communicated about whether they have ben successful. RPA will also be contacting LEADER groups who will then be able to contact applicants to tell them if they have been successful.”

It would seem, therefore, that those who have already submitted applications for the Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant Scheme, LEADER funding and so on, should soon hear a outcome in regards to their application.

That said, for Countryside Stewardship applications both at Mid Tier and Higher Tier, which have a start date for The 1st January 2017, submitted between now, and September may not be signed ‘before the Autumn Statement’. Sign off, of course, depends greatly upon the Natural England and RPA’s ability to process applications, complete mapping, due diligence and complete paperwork by the deadline. Considering that offers for last year’s Mid Tier applications were not sent out until this spring, there is still little certainty about the CS agreements.

DEFRA have continued;

“In the medium term, the Treasury will work with departments and relevant stakeholders to put in place arrangements for considering those EU funding projects and agreements that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we still remain consistent with value for money and our domestic priorities.”

The Guardian newspaper on Saturday the 13th August reported that the chancellor has been told to go further after promising to invest billions of pounds in projects currently funded by the EU after the UK leaves the union.

Philip Hammond announced that taxpayers would contribute about £4.5bn a year to projects supporting both scientists and farmers in addition to building a UK infrastructure to support these industries. 

If a project obtains EU funding after the Autumn Statement, the Treasury will determine whether funding should be guaranteed by the UK government. This means the current level of common agricultural policy (CAP) pillar one funding for farmers will remain the same until 2020, when a domestic system will take over.

In his statement on Saturday, Philip Hammond said, “We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities.”

As the statement continued, it can be summarized to state that all funds that would otherwise come from the EU for years up to and including 2020 that currently pay for the Basic Payment, the greening element, the Young Farmer Top Up and payments specific to Scotland and Wales.

A review of the specific wording of the statement would suggest that the commitment covers the payment window ending on the 30th June 2020 for claims made in 2019, but may well not cover claims made in 2020 which would be paid out in 2021.

We will continue to update on the situation as more statements are made.



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