The government has issued information to the agricultural community about what will happen to farmers who receive rural development funding if there’s no Brexit deal.

The document begins: "A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations."

Following this caveat, the government offers the following advice to how farmers, land managers and rural businesses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who receive payments under the EU Rural Development Programmes, funded under Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal, the government has guaranteed that any projects where funding has been agreed before the end of 2020 will be funded for their full lifetime.

This means that the government would fund any remaining payments to farmers, land managers and rural businesses due after March 2019. This would ensure continued funding for these projects until they finish.

The guarantee also means that Defra and the devolved administrations can continue to sign new projects after the UK leaves the EU during 2019 and 2020, up to the value of programme allocations.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, Defra and devolved administrations would ensure an uninterrupted flow of funding to farmers, rural businesses and communities. To ensure stability and continuity, the guarantee would be administered through existing national and local arrangements, modified and simplified as appropriate in line with domestic rules on public spending. Projects would need to continue to deliver good value for money and meet domestic strategic priorities.

There would be no substantive change for farmers, land managers and rural businesses who have agreements funded by the UK Rural Development Programmes due to finish after 29 March 2019, and existing application and contracting arrangements would remain in place for those planning to seek funding after this date but before the end of 2020.

Programmes would continue to be managed to ensure appropriate audit, monitoring and evaluation arrangements are in place and spending delivers good value for money and meets government priorities.