Boris Johnson has promised farmers subsidies will ‘remain as they are’ if the UK votes to leave the European Union on June 23.
Speaking to Farmers Guardian at Gisburn Auction Mart in Clitheroe today (June 2) Mr Johnson said any UK Government ‘would be mad’ not to subsidise the industry at the current rate.
Agriculture currently receives about £3 billion in subsidies from Europe via the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) each year.
He added stewardship payments would also continue.
In addition, farmers would benefit from less red tape and the ‘ridiculous rules’ borne out of Europe, he said.
While the majority of farmers applauded Mr Johnson’s comments, others remained sceptical.
Steve Morris, who farms in the Ribble Valley, said his main concerns were over subsidies and diminished access to trade in the event of a Brexit. He highlighted any promises made on the campaign trail were ‘speculative’ and scenarios based on how the agricultural industry would operate outside the union were purely hypothetical.
However Danny Wood, who also questioned Mr Johnson over the level of farm support, said he was ‘surprised’ and ‘pleased’ to hear the assurances over the level of subsidies.