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Scottish Gov calls on Eustice to take advantage of EU corona support for farmers

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has called on the UK Government to take advantage of any EU cash made available to support farmers through the coronavirus crisis.

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Scottish Gov calls on Eustice to take advantage of EU corona support for farmers

In a letter to Defra Secretary George Eustice, Mr Ewing said if UK Ministers chose not to access any future EU funding for this purpose, the Treasury should provide the devolved administrations with equivalent funds.

 

He also called on major retailers to make immediate payments to small suppliers to help with cash flow.

 

The European Commission has already temporarily increased the level of state aid individual farmers can receive to €100,000 and raised the de minimis aid ceiling to €25,000.

 

In addition, it has delayed the deadline for CAP payment applications to June 15 from May 15, promised advances of direct payments and made it easier for rural medical facilities to be supported by rural development funds.


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Announcing the package of measures, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The fight against the coronavirus affects all parts of the European economy.

 

“One of the sectors where we will tolerate no disruption whatsoever is that of food. We stand by our farmers in these challenging times.”

 

In England, farmers are still waiting to see whether the phase out of basic payments, due to begin in 2021, will be delayed.

 

Late last month, a department spokesman hinted for the first time that the plans could be put on hold.

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