At his appearance before the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee today, the UK Government’s Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has faced calls to explain why Westminster’s failures have led to Scotland’s farmers losing out on vital EU funding.

As a result of Westminster’s negotiations, Scotland’s farmers will be left with the lowest direct farm payments in the EU by 2019 and have lost out on the €1 billion boost that Scotland would automatically have received as an independent member of the EU.

Falkirk East MSP and member of the Committee, Angus MacDonald said: 

“If Scotland was already an independent member of the EU we would have benefited from EU rules translating to an extra €1 billion of Common Agricultural Policy support coming to Scotland – it is up to Owen Paterson to explain why UK ministers negotiated Scotland to the bottom of the CAP funding league.

“The SNP worked hard to make sure that Scotland’s voice in Europe was heard during key CAP reform negotiations and secured key concessions – yet once those negotiations were concluded, the UK Government turned round and handed farmers in Scotland the worst direct payments deal in the EU.”

“It is clear that when the new negotiations start for the next Common Agricultural Policy in 2017 it is imperative that Scotland has a seat at the top table as an independent nation to ensure rural Scotland and Scotland’s agricultural producers are never short-changed again”.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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