With thousands of farmers across the country battling floods after Storm Dennis and unable to get onto their land to plant crops, farming organisations from across the UK have asked for an urgent relaxation of the three crop rule.
But George Eustice, Defra secretary of state, would not commit to a derogation when questioned by Minette Batters on the matter at the NFU Conference, instead saying he would look at it ‘very closely,’ for next year.
He said: “For this year, the Withdrawal Agreement required us to have an equivalent to the EU scheme, so we’ve just brought across the CAP, warts and all for this final year. We will make extensive changes to it this year [for next year].
“If there are problems with farmers not being able to get crops in the ground, that’s a force majeure event and we will take a sensible and pragmatic view.”
He added: “It is a bonkers rule, I accept that, that is why it won’t be staying for long.”