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Loans offered to farmers early in light of possible no deal Brexit

Image credit: PA

Loans offered to farmers early in light of possible no deal Brexit

A loan scheme has been launched in Scotland to help farmers mitigate the impact of Brexit.

The Scottish Government said that the National Basic Payment Support Scheme will provide vital financial support to Scottish farmers in advance of Brexit.

Under the new scheme, loans will be offered to eligible farmers for up to 95 per cent of their Basic Payment Scheme 2019 payments – an increase of five per cent on previous years.

Loan payments are expected to be made to eligible farmers from early October. A similar scheme in 2018 delivered payments worth more than a quarter of a billion pounds to more than 13,500 farmers following months of adverse weather.

Announcing the scheme, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Farmers are the backbone of Scotland’s rural economy, and with the UK edging ever closer to leaving the EU without a deal, it is absolutely essential that we provide as much support and certainty as we can.

“That is why the Scottish Government will shortly be issuing loan offers, providing a degree of financial certainty during these tumultuous times.

“Recognising the potential catastrophic consequences of a ‘no deal’ on our agricultural sector, I’m also confirming that loans will be offered at the increased rate of 95 per cent, delivering more money to farmers 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 would encourage all eligible farmers, crofters and land managers to accept this offer to enable us to get your payment out to you as soon as possible.”

The National Basic Payment Support Scheme 2019 will operate on an opt-in basis and offset against those payments.

Loan letters will be issued in early September with payments beginning in early October.

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