UFU comments on Chancellor Philip Hammond's EU funding annoucement

Wednesday, 5 October, 2016

The Ulster Farmers’ Union president Barclay Bell says the Chancellor’s announcement is welcome. “This guarantee that EU funding will continue after the UK has left the EU covers Northern Ireland’s agri-environment scheme and the wider Rural Development programme. This provides welcome reassurance that payments are secure until 2020,” said Mr Bell.

Article key points

  • Guarantee that funding for Northern Ireland's agri-environment scheme and wider Rural Development programme will continue after the UK leaves the EU until 2020 is welcome news.
  • UFU now focusing on the longer term and the wider issue of support for agirculture and rural development once the UK is not a member of the EU.
  • While the UK is still a member of the EU, businesses are still entitled to apply for EU funds.

The UFU president said the focus would now move to the wider issue of support for agriculture and rural development, after the UK is no longer a member of the EU “There is a huge task ahead of us as we unpick the UK’s relationship with the EU. The guarantee that funding will continue until 2020 is good news, but we are concentrating now on how best to support farmers after 2020.  In doing this we are working closely with politicians here and at Westminster, and with other UK farm unions.  Our aim is to secure support equivalent to that presently provided by the EU,” said the Mr Bell.

The Chancellor's statement confirmed that while the UK is still a member of the EU, businesses, are still entitled to apply for EU funds.  The UFU says farmers and others in rural communities should recognise this and continue to seek EU rural development and other funding.