Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today secured commitments from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove that the share of British agricultural payments that will be paid to Scottish farmers after the UK leaves the EU will be retained.
The Cabinet Secretary confirmed publicly for the first time that Scotland would retain at least its existing share. Scotland currently receives 17% of the total UK CAP budget.
Mr Rumbles said:
"I am glad to have secured confirmation from Michael Gove that the UK government will continue to fund the current level of support to Scotland's farming businesses.
"Scotland's farmers needed clarity about what level of funding will be provided to them in the future. For 18 months Fergus Ewing has been saying that he did not have the information necessary to move forward. That has been blown out of the water today.
"Michael Gove confirmed that he told Fergus Ewing months ago both the level of support and its total funding. Fergus Ewing should come before parliament to explain why he has been misleading us for 18 months about his abject failure to design a bespoke system of agricultural support for Scotland."
Notes to editors:
From the SPICE briefing on Agriculture and Brexit found here:
- SCOTLAND’S ALLOCATION OF AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDY Currently Scotland currently receives around 17% of the total UK CAP budget. All of Pillar 1 funding comes from the EU. Pillar 2 funding comes partly from the EU and (in Scotland) partly from the Scottish Government. Once the UK leaves the EU, it is unclear how a UK budget for agriculture will be allocated. Allocation of the CAP budget between the devolved administrations has been reserved to Westminster. There are many criteria upon which a UK agricultural budget could be allocated (Cao, 2010). If population share were used, Scotland would receive around 8%. The UK Government has guaranteed that the equivalent of Pillar 1 funds will be paid to farmers until 2020 (Gauke, 2016). The UK has also guaranteed that the equivalent of the EU’s contribution of Pillar 2 funds will be available so long as they are committed before the UK leaves the EU (Hammond, 2016).