Sunday 14 August 2016

British government guarantees funding for farming and science

The British government have announced a funding guarantee for science and agriculture to protect organisations and businesses in receipt of funding via the EU after we leave.

The EU makes money available to farmers and landowners via the EU Common Agricultural Policy. It pays them to farm certain things, not farm certain things and sometimes not to farm at all. They pay out about £3bn a year in susbsidies with the big money going to the largest and wealthiest landowners who can claim more than £1m each for their extensive land holdings.

Scientists and researchers can apply for funding from a pot of money called Horizon 2020 which mainly funds scientific research. Again, the big money goes to the large multinational corporations, pharmaceutical companies and prestigious universities.

The Treasury says it will guarantee to match and continue funding secured via the EU for the duration of the funding agreement as if we were still EU members for applications made before the autumn statement. Plans for future funding going forward will presumably be included in the autumn statement.

Because the EU redistributes more than half of what we pay in to its budget to other countries, the Treasury is able to guarantee current funding levels with a surplus that could be used to improve public services, reduce taxes or provide state aid to protect strategically important industries which is illegal under EU law. All the Leave campaigns - UKIP included - said that this sort of arrangement should be expected once we'd voted to leave and here it is. The Remainiacs said that farmers and scientists would be abandoned and driven to bankruptcy without EU handing our money out to them. They were wrong.