The Scottish Parliament has called for the UK’s extra European farming subsidy to be allocated to Scotland in its entirety.
The ‘convergence uplift’ is worth tens of millions of euros a year and during a debate on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, MSPs backed the Scottish Government’s calls for the additional cash to come to Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said:
“It is essential that Scotland receives the fairest possible deal from the UK’s CAP allocation.
“This extra subsidy will be worth more than €60 million a year by 2020, totalling around €230 million over the whole budget period. The only reason that the UK qualifies for the uplift is because of Scotland’s low payments under the current system. Therefore it is only fair that this additional cash is allocated to Scotland in its entirety.
“This is not a case of taking money away from farmers in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. This is money that belongs to Scottish farmers and it is only right that it should come to Scottish farmers.
“In the new CAP, Scotland will likely have lower rates per hectare, in both Pillars, than every member state in Europe. This modest uplift would be a small step in the right direction.
“I have already written to Owen Paterson seeking a fair deal for Scotland from the UK’s CAP allocation. I welcome today’s cross party support for the UK’s full convergence uplift to come to Scotland and Owen Paterson should now take heed of the Scottish Parliament’s wishes in this matter.”