FARM­ING AR­EAS COULD COL­LAPSE

Daily Record - - NEWS -

RU­RAL com­mu­ni­ties could “fall apart” if farm­ing sub­si­dies are slashed af­ter Brexit, Euro­pean of­fi­cials have warned.

EU pay­ments make up a huge amount of farm in­come but the UK Govern­ment in­tend to cut them af­ter a tran­si­tion pe­riod. BY ANDY PHILIP Tories say they will re­ward farm­ers who pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

Crit­ics say cash for farm­ing will have to com­pete with do­mes­tic spend­ing once EU schemes end.

In Brus­sels, where Brexit talks are en­ter­ing a vi­tal phase, an EU Com­mis­sion of­fi­cial said: “The con­se­quences are pos­si­bly calami­tous for the en­vi­ron­ment be­cause it’s one thing for farm­ers to stop pro­duc­ing. But the fact is farm­ers are crit­i­cally im­por­tant stew­ards of the land­scape.

“To keep peo­ple in the coun­try­side you have to keep the ser­vices. You take peo­ple out, you lose the ser­vices, and the whole in­fra­struc­ture … starts to fall apart.”

Scot­tish Sec­re­tary David Mun­dell last month said farm­ers would get the same fund­ing un­til 2022.

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