Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (178)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

178. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on references to the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Commission's draft withdrawal agreement with the United Kingdom (details supplied). [48834/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Articles and Annexes in the draft Withdrawal Agreement referred to by the Deputy relate to a derogation being allowed to the UK in relation to State Aid rules, in the event of an agreed extension of the transition period.

The draft Withdrawal Agreement confirms that, unless otherwise provided for, EU law shall be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period, which ends on 31 Dec 2020.  Consequently the normal EU State Aid rules will apply to the UK, including Northern Ireland during that period.

However, during any extended transition period, the United Kingdom shall be considered as a third country for the purposes of the implementation of programmes and activities under the multiannual financial framework applying as and from the year 2021. During this period, it is considered reasonable to allow the UK to continue to support farmers in Northern Ireland, but that this should be done in a way that is consistent with current arrangements under the Common Agricultural Policy and that does not disadvantage EU farmers.

The articles referred to by the Deputy outline the means by which this will be achieved, including through annual maximum levels of support and minimum percentage compliance with the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, which will be decided by the Joint Committee established under the Withdrawal Agreement.