£3 billion support fund for farmers introduced

The Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) was introduced yesterday (January 9) following the Chancellor’s confirmation of almost £3 billion of funding for 2020 to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU.

This cash injection will maintain the level of funding for Direct Payments at the same rate as last year and will provide certainty for farmers, giving them confidence for next year

Sajid Javid confirmed last month that the cash will be used to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU, allowing them to plan for the future, sow their crops and care for their livestock with confidence.

The UK will leave the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Direct Payments scheme, which supports farmers across Europe with subsidies in 2020. This will be replaced by a new system based on public money for public goods.

The cash injection will allow the funding for Direct Payments for 2020 to continue at the same level as 2019 and supplement the remaining EU funding that farmers will receive for development projects until 2023 at the latest. 

It is in addition to the £206.6 million of funding awarded since Spending Round to support the farming sector in Scotland and Wales.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, 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.”

The funding will be available from late 2020, as in previous years.

The UK Government will therefore provide £2.852 billion of support, topping up the remaining EU funding, and matching the total funding for Direct Payment available for 2019.

The funding is spread across two financial years. The allocations for each nation of the UK for 2020/21 are:

  • £1,751 million for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • £449 million for the Scottish Government
  • £231 million for the Welsh Government
  • £279 million for the Northern Ireland administration

And for 2021/22:

  • £92 million for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • £24 million for the Scottish Government
  • £12 million for the Welsh Government
  • £15 million for the Northern Ireland administration