NFU reassurance call on farming schemes

NFU President Meurig Raymond.
NFU President Meurig Raymond.

NFU President Meurig Raymond has called for reassurance that schemes currently available to UK farmers remain in place until 2020.

Mr Raymond’s appeal follows up on immediate issues of concern for NFU members after the Leave vote, including reassurance that promises made during the referendum campaign are delivered.

Mr Raymond said: “We are in a period of extreme uncertainty, but one thing remains clear; the role of the NFU in lobbying government to ensure that the policies developed in the coming weeks and months will focus on securing a profitable, productive and competitive farming industry.

“Speaking with EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, I outlined the need to secure the best possible access to markets in the rest of Europe. Although we will not be a member of the EU, it will still be our major trading partner for the foreseeable future.

“During the referendum period these schemes were assured until 2020 allowing for farm businesses to plan ahead. I have stressed the need for schemes, such as the Rural Development Scheme and the Basic Payment Scheme, to remain in place with the promised safeguards being made in the forthcoming period of negotiation.

“Leaving the EU gives us the opportunity to build a new British agricultural policy which is adapted to our needs - one that’s easy to understand and simple to administer.

“We have a golden opportunity to ensure our arrangements in the future are proportionate and decisions are based on sound science.

“We will be looking for guarantees from government that the support given to our farmers is equal to that given to farmers in the EU, who will still be our principal competitors.”