Concern over farmer subsidy changes
SCOTTISH sheep farmers would lose out on £1.75bn of subsidies under plans backed by an influential EU group, new analysis suggests.
A paper by the Brusselsbased New Direction think-tank says farmers north of the Border should not be advantaged by any system that replaces the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
The think-tank report says: “It would not, for example, be acceptable for the Scottish Parliament to give significant subsidies to sheep farmers in Scotland which are not available to sheep farmers in England or Wales so allowing Scottish sheep prices unfairly to undercut other sheep farmers across the whole UK market.”
It follows de facto Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green’s statement this week that the UK Government wants to take charge of the overall farming framework once Britain has left the EU.
This is despite agriculture being devolved to Holyrood.
Independent analysis by the Scottish Parliament says Scotland would lose out on £1.75bn in subsidies if CAP funding is replaced by UK-wide per capita funding because it has a much higher concentration of farmers and crofters.
SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd said: “While the Scottish Government is not opposed in principle to agreeing UK-wide frameworks where powers are returning from Brussels, that must be by mutual agreement.”