Ahead of his appearance before the 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.
Commenting, South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine 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 CAP 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.”
SNP MEP Alyn Smith said:
“Westminster just isn’t representing Scotland’s interests in Europe. With a Yes vote Scotland will have a seat at the top table and will be able to secure a better deal for farmers – in stark contrast to Westminster’s record of failure.”
Notes to editors