Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister said: “I welcome the fact that Treasury has given a firm commitment to maintain current levels of CAP support to farmers out to 2020. This removes much uncertainty and creates time in which to develop a new approach to domestic agricultural support.
“I know that some will ask what comes beyond 2020, but that was a question we were facing within the EU anyway. At least we now have an opportunity to shape a support regime that is more suited to our needs and one that is not over-burdened with unnecessary bureaucracy. We can now turn our attention to addressing this particular issue, and this important opportunity.
“We will continue to move forward with our plans to deliver our Rural Development Programme, including the forthcoming opening of the Farm Business Investment Scheme and the continued operation of the Business Discussion Groups and Family Farm Key Skills, and the roll out of the Leader programme.
“A well-funded and properly targeted agri-environment measure has to be an important component of our domestic agricultural agenda moving forward, and I will be fighting hard to secure that outcome. Again, we now have the opportunity to develop an approach that meets our needs and is not burdened with unnecessary bureaucracy. This must now be our focus moving forward and I am confident we can achieve a good outcome on this.”
The Minister concluded: “Overall, the announcement by Treasury is the first tangible step on our journey towards EU exit post the referendum as far as agriculture is concerned. This is a positive step and we must now turn our attention to the opportunities that lie ahead.”
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