MPs on the Commons spending watchdog have accused Environment Secretary George Eustice of “blind optimism” to suggest otherwise
Britain’s farmers face losing half their subsidies because of Brexit over the next three years.
And MPs on the Commons spending watchdog have accused Environment Secretary George Eustice of “blind optimism” to suggest otherwise.
Defra is introducing a new subsidy scheme this year to replace the money farmers received from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
But the Public Accounts Committee says Defra’s plan is based on unrealistic predictions of higher productivity and environmental benefits to qualify for the money.
PAC’s Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said: “It is simply wrong that Defra’s own failures of business planning should knock on to undermine the certainty crucial to a critical national sector.”
In 2019 EU direct payments to farmers were were worth £1. 8billion.
And without subsidies the average farm in England would make a net profit of just £22,800 a year.
Sir Geoffrey added: “The fear for small and tenant farms who are operating on wafer-thin margins is that many will go out of business.”
And that means Britain would become even more reliant on imported food than it is now.
The Committee is calling on Mr Eustice to come back to them urgently with a new plan.