Offer letters for the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) loan scheme have been delivered this week to farm businesses across Scotland.
All that is required is a signature from a relevant person and an advance of 95 per cent of the BPS will be in bank accounts possibly as early as the beginning of October.
The loans are interest free and are paid off by the Scottish Government recovering the funds from the CAP payments once they are cleared through the IT system.
It seems straightforward and the loan scheme is well-proven from its use in previous years.
But there have been concerns raised about the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit on the flow of funds.
These were quickly scotched yesterday (Aug 28) by Rural Economy Minister Fergus Ewing.
He said: “Let me be absolutely clear, should an individual or business accept our loan offer, they will receive their entitlement regardless of the eventual Brexit outcome.
“I can also reassure people that should they accept a loan offer, we would expect to recover the loan against CAP payments. We will not be seeking early repayment from recipients in the event of no deal.
“We have made this offer specifically to help them with the potentially significant impact of Brexit.
“That is why the Scottish Government has so far issued 16,500 loan offers (with further offers to be issued shortly) at the increased rate of up to 95 per cent, which will deliver more money to farmers and crofters through this mechanism than ever before.
“I believe there has never been a more important time for rural businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are as prepared as possible for whatever Brexit outcome may be delivered.
“As such, I continue to urge all eligible farmers, crofters and land managers to accept their loan offer. With payments beginning in early October, the sooner we receive their acceptance form, the sooner we can get their payment out to them.”
NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: “I have already signed and returned my loan scheme offer and I urge all those who have received an offer to do likewise.
"Knowing the loan scheme funding is coming in October will provide some much-needed reassurance to all farmers and crofters and deliver a hugely valuable cash injection into Scottish agriculture that we know will benefit the whole rural economy.”