Sajid Javid has confirmed £2.9 billion of support for farmers in the coming year, saying they can enter 2020 “with confidence” as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.
The funding - to be spread over two years - will be used to support farmers after Brexit when the UK will withdraw from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) direct payments scheme.
It will allow funding for direct payments for 2020 to continue at the same level as this year, and supplement the remaining EU funding that farmers will receive for development projects until 2023.
The Chancellor said: “When we leave the EU and are freed from the Common Agricultural Policy, we will be able to support our vital rural communities - who are a cornerstone of life in the UK - with a fairer and less bureaucratic system.
“Farmers can enter the new year with confidence that they have our backing and will be able to thrive after Brexit.”
HM Treasury said the CAP system will be replaced with a new one “based on public money for public goods”.
It also promised to guarantee the current annual budget for farmers in every year of the new Parliament.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers added: “Outside the EU we will have a simpler, fairer funding system - one that rewards farmers for enhancing our environment and safeguarding our high animal welfare standards.
“We are committed to making sure our rural communities feel the benefits of Brexit and will ensure our farmers get a better deal.”
The president of the National Farmer’s Union Scotland, Andrew McCornick, welcomed the move but said the group will continue to press for “long-term funding commitment for farming”, as well as measures for farmers to “secure a fairer share of returns from the supply chain.”
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