FARMING AREAS COULD COLLAPSE
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.