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Common Agricultural Policy Funds

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Alan Reid Alan Reid Liberal Democrat, Argyll and Bute 9:30 am, 29th January 2015

When she plans to review the allocation of common agricultural policy funds between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The review of allocations of common agricultural policy funds between UK Administrations will take place during 2016 and 2017. DEFRA will first work with the devolved Administrations to decide on the data needed to facilitate a comparison of payments across the UK. I have made it clear that one area that will be examined in the review is a comparison of land types and payment areas. That task will be easier once all UK Administrations have made the transition to area-based payments.

Photo of Alan Reid Alan Reid Liberal Democrat, Argyll and Bute

I thank the Minister for that answer. If the review shows that farmers in any one part of the UK are being unfairly treated by the current allocation formula, it is obviously important that the outcome of the review is implemented straight away. I hope that the Minister will commit to supporting a speedy implementation.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We will consider implementation as part of the review. We have always made it clear that changing allocations before 2020—within the current programme—would have some legal difficulties, as well as practical difficulties for other Administrations. At the very latest, the changes will take effect from 2020.