Brexit CAP, funding & payments questions & answers

What difference will Brexit make?

When the UK exits from the EU, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will no longer apply. As agricultural policy is a devolved matter, each devolved administration will have an opportunity to decide their domestic agricultural policy for the first time since 1973.

Will there still be direct payments to farmers after Brexit?

If there is a withdrawal agreement, payments will continue as at present for 2019 scheme year and will remain very similar to current arrangements for 2020 scheme year.

If there is No Deal, the government has pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this parliament, expected in 2022: this includes all funding provided for farm support under both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the current CAP. This commitment applies to the whole UK.

Will the rules for direct payments change as a result of Brexit?

During 2019, farmers won’t see any change as the UK will operate in line with the existing EU Regulations under the CAP in respect of Direct Payments under Pillar 1 i.e. the Basic Payment Scheme, the Greening Payment, the Young Farmers’ Payment and the Regional Reserve.  During 2019 no scheme changes are possible other than those which have already been introduced by the EU.  This applies whether there is a withdrawal agreement or a no deal exit.  Information on the 2019 schemes can be found at the following link:

During 2020 and 2021, DAERA will have legal authority to maintain the status quo thereby enabling it to implement the Direct Payment schemes as it they were still operating under EU rules.  However, as part of the transition to a new agricultural policy framework, some limited changes could be made during these years in order to simplify the current Direct Payment schemes and to remove requirements that are not particularly relevant or worthwhile in a NI context.  If there is a withdrawal agreement, the scope for making any changes for the 2020 scheme year will be very limited as there is a requirement to implement schemes equivalent to the EU schemes. 

More fundamental changes to the support regime will inevitably require time to refine the objectives of the future support arrangements and to develop and implement the necessary delivery mechanisms. Decisions on future agricultural policy will be for Ministers to take.

What will happen if there is a deal?

Funding for direct payment schemes, including the Basic Payment Scheme will continue for 2019 and 2020 scheme years.  To get payments, farmers will need to follow the same standards as they do now.

What will happen if there is No Deal?

If the UK leaves the EU with no agreement in place, payment will continue under the terms of the UK Government’s funding guarantee.  The Government has pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this Parliament, expected in 2022: this includes all funding provided for farm support under both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 (rural development programme) of the current CAP. This commitment applies to the whole UK.

The EU Withdrawal Act ensures that we have the ability in law to continue operations of payments in a No Deal scenario.  This legislation preserves EU law as it currently stands.

People and businesses that currently benefit from payments will need to conform to the same standards as they do currently, in order to receive payments. This will include on-site inspections to UK farms receiving payments, which will continue as normal.

All of these rules and processes will remain the same until new agriculture policies are introduced.

Will rural development schemes be affected?

We have a commitment from the UK Government to provide the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the current UK Parliament expected in 2022.  This includes all funding provided for farm support under Pillar 2 of the current CAP.  This commitment applies to the whole of the UK, but we do not know what will happen after that.

How will support be funded post 2022?

We have a commitment from the UK Government to provide the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the current UK Parliament expected in 2022.  No decisions have been made on the level of funding after the end of the current UK Parliament. 

It should be noted that if the current UK Parliament runs until 2022, the UK Government budgetary commitment covers farm support until the end of the 2021 scheme year for direct payments.  

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