European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has confirmed that UK farmers will continue to receive EU payments until the UK completely leaves the union.

In a letter to UK National Farmers Union President Meurig Raymond, Commissioner Hogan confirmed that the UK ‘would remain a full member of the EU with all rights and obligations’ entails until Article 50 discussions are completed.

For the time being, the commissioner explained that farmers will ‘continue to have full access to CAP support schemes and to the EU internal market’. The letter also stresses that UK farmers and paying authorities will have to comply with all existing EU legislation.

Raymond said he appreciated Commissioner Hogan taking the time to provide this clarity during these uncertain times.

“UK farmers welcome the fact it is ‘business as usual’ for the time being. Existing rules – and the penalties that come with failing to comply with them – will continue to apply for the foreseeable future.

“Our focus now is on our leaders at home; we will be clarifying what we need under a new domestic farming policy and then discussing this nationally with our membership as part of the biggest farming consultation for a generation.

“But we appreciate the commissioner’s support and will relay his message to our members loud and clear: business as usual.”

Brexit: ‘You make your bed and you lie in it’

Voting in the Brexit referendum was a personal choice – you make your bed and lie in it, Jim Nicholson MEP has said.

Speaking on RTE’s Countrywide, he said that on the issue of direct payments from the EU, this year and next year farmers can be sure of receiving payments from the EU.

“After the two-year period we’re in uncharted waters, nobody has a clue. Nothing can move until the UK triggers Article 50 and I’d be very surprised if that’s triggered before January next year.

“I’m old enough to remember life before the EU. You [farmers] were quite frankly at the bottom of the heap and very pessimistic about the future of agriculture.”