No deal technical notices published
The government has published a series of technical notices today, which provide detail on how UK businesses and individuals should prepare in the unlikely event of a ‘no deal Brexit’.
These include notices on payments to farmers, the Rural Development Programme for England, genetically modified organisms, and producing and labelling organic food.
The publication of these technical notices does not reflect an increased likelihood of ‘no deal’. Negotiations with the EU are ongoing and the government remains confident that we will achieve a mutually advantageous deal.
Payments to Farmers
This notice explains how payments under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.
We understand the importance of providing stability to farmers as we leave the EU. That’s why we have pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support for the duration of this Parliament. Following that there will be a phased transition period to a new scheme, supporting farmers to get accustomed to a new system.
Rural Development Programme for England
This notice explains how farmers, land managers and rural businesses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who receive payments under the EU Rural Development Programmes, funded under Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.
In the event of a no deal, the government has agreed to fund any projects contracted before the end of 2020 for their full lifetime. This means the government would take over any remaining payments to farmers, land managers and rural businesses after March 2019 until they finish.
Genetically Modified Organisms
This notice explains how controls on the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.
In the event of a no deal there would be no immediate impacts for UK stakeholders. All current EU requirements would be maintained across the UK in equivalent terms.
Producing and processing organic foods
This notice sets out the expected position for growers, processors and importers involved in the UK organic sector, in the event the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal.
If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, the UK would be treated as a third country. This would have some implications for the production and labelling of organic food.
There will be as much continuity as possible for UK businesses. As they will be operating with the same standards as the EU on organic produce, we expect to agree an equivalency arrangement with the EU (and indeed with other non-EU countries) which would allow the free movement of organic goods between the EU and the UK.
These are the first of around 80 sector-specific notices to be published. More will be published in September.
Exmoor optimism for post-Brexit farming opportunities
The Financial Times has written today on how farmers and land managers are actively looking at how they can transform the way the countryside is managed outside of the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy.
The piece focused on the Exmoor Ambition programme, which sets out proposals for how Exmoor’s farmed landscapes and communities can be managed after Brexit. The Secretary of State visited Exmoor in June and met the farmers, academics and National Park leaders who are designing these plans.
The introduction of the Agriculture Bill later this year will be an historic moment for the farming sector, laying the foundations for a new system that directly rewards farmers – like those in Exmoor – for the work they do to protect and enhance the environment.