The potential departure of the UK from the European Union (EU) would give the country more funds that could be used to protect farmers and the environment, according to Farming Minister George Eustice.
Eustice told The Guardian
that a Brexit vote in the June 23 referendum would free up a £2 billion green dividend that could be spent on insurance schemes and incentives for farmers.
He said the amount would be earmarked for conservation spending out of the money it expects to regain from payments to the EU.
“Our objective would be to put in place a government-backed insurance scheme, similar to the one in Canada, to protect farmers from bad weather, crop failures and drops in prices,” The Guardian
quoted Eustice as saying.
“We would also have a whole suite of accreditation schemes run by the Soil Association, Rivers Trust and [the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] to incentivise farmers to do positive things for the environment,” he added.
According to Full Fact, London’s independent fact checking charity, the UK has been paying more into the EU budget than it is getting back.
In 2015, the UK government paid £13b to the EU budget while the economic bloc’s spending on Britain was £4.5b, Full Fact said.
The charity said the UK government gets back some of its payments to the EU mainly through disbursements to farmers and poorer areas of the country such as Wales and Cornwall.