Labour planning shake up of farm subsidies when Britain leaves European Union

MP Emily Thornberry says IPSA allowances for staffing and stationary do not cover her costs

MP Emily Thornberry says IPSA allowances for staffing and stationary do not cover her costs - Credit: Archant

Labour will indicate today that it is planning to shake up farm subsidies when Britain leaves the European Union.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry will publish an initial blueprint for a post-Brexit Britain, which is expected to indicate a move to reform the current rules around the Common Agricultural Policy.

Although there will be no specific details about what the reformed system will look like, a source indicated that Labour was looking at making the system more 'progressive', claiming lower income farmers were not getting proportionately more, suggesting there are currently 'massive bungs going to landowners'.

The party will also announce that a future Labour government will make up any shortfall in funding for deprived areas and regions and would guarantee current levels of structural funding for more deprived areas of the country after 2020.

The East of England is due to receive 387 million euros of structural funding between 2014 and 2020.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond said in August that EU funding for farmers, scientists and other projects will be replaced by the Treasury after Brexit, and agricultural funding would continue until 2020, but has only guaranteed to back EU-funded projects signed before this year's Autumn Statement.

Ms Thornberry said: 'The communities that lost out most from Brexit must be looked after first.'

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The document will say that it will commit a central plank of its future manifesto and budget plans to a 'properly managed domestic fund for less prosperous regions currently in receipt of EU structural funds'.

She said: 'There is the agricultural funding, and some people will say why haven't you fixed the funding for science or for research, or why haven't you fixed the issues in relation to education. It is essentially watch this space, we need to have time to think about it and to come forward with things the make sense and have time to think it through properly.'

On agricultural subsidies she added that they could take a step back and they could refine it 'It would be something where we could take a step back and say that whatever rules there were that applied funding across the whole of the UK, we can refine it.

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