I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement today that all structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded.
The Chancellor has also guaranteed that the current level of agricultural funding under CAP Pillar 1 will be upheld until 2020, as part of the transition to new domestic arrangements.
This guarantee of funding is excellent news for our farmers and our environment. It means farmers are assured of current levels of funding until 2020 and any agri-environment schemes agreed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded – even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
I’m delighted we can provide this crucial certainty and continuity to our rural communities while we develop a new approach to supporting agriculture and protecting our precious countryside. Food and farming are central to our national identity and together they are a bedrock of our economy, generating over £100 billion a year and employing one in eight people.
I look forward to working with the industry, rural communities and the wider public to shape our plans for food, farming and the environment outside the EU.