European School Milk Scheme
Defra will now not be publishing the consultation on the post-August 2017 European School Milk Scheme until after the election due to the pre-election purdah period which means that the Government cannot make policy announcements. However, we have concerns that changes to the scheme – including new procedures such as having to submit evidence when making a claim instead of just keeping it on file – will leave schools with little time to prepare. We have written to Defra to ask them to either communicate the likely changes to schools immediately to ensure that they have the time to implement them ahead of September, or to postpone the implementation of the changes. We will draft a response to the consultation submission once it has been published. To support this, we will be undertaking research into how other EU countries are planning to implement the new scheme.
Our main focus will remain the discussion on what to replace the scheme with once the UK leaves the EU, and we will continue to both engage with Defra and develop a model of a new programme to put forward. Following the announcement of the election, we contacted Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and Plaid Cymru to request that they include a pledge to replace the scheme in their manifestos.

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