The Queen stands to lose a million pounds per year after European Union farming subsidies to Britain end because of Brexit, The Sunday Telegraph reports. Sandringham Estate, the Queen’s retreat in Norfolk, will lose around £700,000 and the lands around Windsor Castle will lose nearly £300,000 a year.
The cessation of subsidies coming in from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will affect farmers across the UK when Brexit comes into effect. The CAP – EU’s system of rural support – benefits estates and country houses as well, and is meant to ensure a reasonable standard of living for farmers while giving consumers food at a good price. After the withdrawal of subsidies, MPs have promised financial support until 2020, but there is no guarantee beyond that.
An analysis by The Sunday Telegraph revealed the amount of subsidies received by royal estates in 2015. Sandringham was given£665,000, and the farms in Windsor were given £298,000, while Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall received £129,000. The Crown Estate, which manages royal land, received subsidies of around £350,000, and will also be affected by the withdrawal of EU subsidies.
A source close to Buckingham Palace revealed that there had been concerns before the EU referendum about the impact of losing the grants and how the level of EU subsidies would be sustained. “I don’t think it was a budget-busting concern, it wasn’t something people were losing sleep over. But it was something people were conscious of as a post-referendum impact,” the source said.
Meanwhile, former Defence Minister Sir Gerald Howarth, who was in favour of Brexit, said: “What we all said during the Leave campaign was that all those currently in receipt of so-called EU money will continue to receive the same money because we will be saving £20bn every year.”
We must reassure the recipients – whether it’s Her Majesty or farmers – that they will continue to benefit from the current arrangements,” he added. “What Brexit does is to give the United Kingdom the chance to fashion a farm price support mechanism designed exclusively for the benefit of British farmers.”
The Queen’s Sandringham estate is made up of 6,400 hectares of farmland, 1,400 hectares of woodland and 80 hectares of orchards which are managed by eight tenant farmers. The revenue received from the estate, along with The Queen’s other private properties, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Sovereign Grant from the Treasury, are Her Majesty’s primary sources of income.
It was also believed that demand for stores on Regent’s Street and other parts of London owned by the Crown would drop after Brexit, however it seems that businesses are still queuing to get retail space in these prime areas.
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