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Prime Minister makes statement following EU Council

22 March 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a press statement following yesterday's EU Council meeting regarding the request to extend the Article 50 process beyond 29th March 2019.

The EU Council has agreed that, subject to a successful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement by the UK Parliament next week, Brexit will be extended to 22nd May 2019. If however the vote is unsuccessful, the EU Council will allow Article 50 to be extended to 12th April 2019. At that point, the UK would either leave the EU without a deal or "put forward an alternative plan".

Prime Minister requests extension to Brexit

20 March 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May has written to the European Council President, Donald Tusk, to request an extension to the Article 50 period which is currently due to end at 11 p.m. on 29th March 2019. The UK is seeking an extension until 30th June 2019. A copy of the Prime Minister's letter is available on GOV.UK.

First tranche of Scottish BPS 2018 payments underway

20 March 2019

The first tranche of BPS 2018, greening and young farmer payments have begun to be made to Scottish claimants. These payments will be offset by the recovery of BPS 2018 loans where claimants chose to take up that option. Please see the Scottish Government website for further details.

Scottish SAF Application Window Opens

15 March 2019

The Scottish Single Application Form (SAF) window has opened today. Further information about applying online can be found on the Rural Payments and Services website. The application submission deadline is 15th May 2019.

MPs vote to seek Brexit delay

14 March 2019

MPs have voted (412 to 202) to seek a delay to Brexit happening on 29th March 2019. This has to be agreed to by the other 27 EU Member States. Please see the BBC News webpage for further information.

MPs vote to reject 'no deal' Brexit

13 March 2019

MPs have voted again this evening (13th March) and by a small majority (312 to 308) have rejected leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. Further information is available on the BBC News website. 

Welsh Woodland Creation and Restoration Schemes to open to bids from 1st April 2019

13 March 2019

Wales' Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has confirmed that further bidding for projects under the Glastir Woodland Creation and Restoration schemes will open on 1st April 2019. Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Basic Payment Scheme - tips for applying in 2019

13 March 2019

With the BPS 2019 application window opening today in England, CAAV Policy Adviser, Alice De Soer, gives some tips about applying in this week's Farmers Weekly in the attached article.

Chancellor of the Exchequer presents Spring Statement

13 March 2019

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, has presented his Spring Statement to the House of Commons. A Written Ministerial Statement is available on GOV.UK together with a summary of what was presented.

Farmers advised to apply early for this year's funding schemes

13 March 2019

With the opening of the BPS 2019 application window today (13th March), as well Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship annual revenue claim window, farmers are being encouraged to submit applications and claims as early as possible before 15th May 2019 deadline. Please see GOV.UK a press release.

Tony Juniper CBE appointed as Natural England's Chair

13 March 2019

Tony Juniper has been confirmed as Natural England's chair. He will take up the role from 23rd April 2019. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

EU Withdrawal Agreement rejected by MPs

12 March 2019

MPs have voted against the revised EU Withdrawal Agreement this evening by 391 to 242. Further information is available on the BBC News webpage. The Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons can be found on GOV.UK.

Government issues statement confirming political agreement reached on the EU Withdrawal Agreement

12 March 2019

The Government has issued a statement that political agreement has been reached on the draft EU withdrawal agreement, which has been laid before Parliament last night (11th March) in readiness for this evening's vote. The European Commission has also released a statement.

There are two further documents relating to the withdrawal agreement that have not been included in the documents laid before Parliament which are available on GOV.UK:-

'Instrument relating to the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community', and

- 'Declaration by Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the Northern Ireland Protocol'.


Seasonal workers pilot opens

06 March 2019

The seasonal workers pilot has opened and will run until the end of December 2020, when it will be reviewed. Concordia and Pro-Force have been licensed to manage the pilot and will match suitable workers to UK farmers. The pilot will allow up to 2,500 seasonal workers to be employed by fruit and vegetable farmers for up to 6 months. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

New Farming Minister appointed

06 March 2019

Following the resignation last week of the Farming Minister, George Eustice, Robert Goodwill has been appointed as the new Farming Minister. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

Eustice resigns as Farming Minister

28 February 2019

George Eustice MP has resigned from his post as DEFRA Farming Minister after this week's decision to allow the postponement of the UK's exit from the EU if the current deal is rejected. Please see the BBC News website for further information.

CAAV joins expert panel on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today Programme to discuss 'Five weeks until Brexit'

25 February 2019

CAAV adviser, Alice De Soer, joined an expert panel on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme at the weekend to discuss 'Five weeks until Brexit'. The programme covered trade, labour and farming subsidy issues. To listen, please go to the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today webpage (Alice's contribution relating to farming subsidies starts at around 14 minutes).

New research shows National Nature Reserves offer £36m of benefits to society

21 February 2019

New Natural Capital Accounts research published by Natural England today shows that National Nature Reserves (NNRs) provide £36 million of benefits to society. The report includes an extended balance sheet which gives an evaluation of "NNRs as natural assets, as well as demonstrating the ecosystem services, benefits and value they provide to society." Further details are available on the GOV.UK website where there is also a link to the report.

Gove delivers speech at NFU Conference

20 February 2019

The full transcript of the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove's, speech delivered to the NFU Conference yesterday is available on GOV.UK. 

In the speech, he stated that: "We have to do better in the delivery of countryside and environmental stewardship payments. They are still in a mess, the consequence partly of historic IT procurement decisions and the split responsibility for scheme administration between Natural England and the RPA, which led to inefficiency and confusion."

He also committed to:

  • paying 95% of Countryside Stewardship (CS) 2018 claims by 31st March 2019 (including bridging payments in early April to those who are unpaid by 31st March)
  • paying 95% of CS final payments by 31st July 2019, with a move to making full CS payments (advance and final in a single payment) straightaway

He also expressed an expectation that 95% of Environmental Stewardship (ES) 2017 final payments should be completed by 31st July 2019.

Countryside Stewardship - Tips for 2019 Scheme

20 February 2019

With the application window opening earlier this week for key elements of Countryside Stewardship, Alice De Soer (Policy and Technical Adviser at the CAAV) gives tips for farmers and land managers considering applying this year in this article on the Farmers Weekly website.

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