The future way agriculture in Scotland is funded requires to take more account of local needs according to Fergus Ewing, Rural Affairs Secretary for the Scottish Government. CAP payments from the EU are currently distributed by the Scottish Government which may not be the case once the UK exits the EU. Scottish Government Ministers are arguing very strongly that Holyrood should maintain control over agriculture and fisheries after Brexit.
Fergus Ewing has called for:
- More freedom to tailor rules to local circumstances
- More proportionate penalty provisions
- Treating future new entrants fairly and reversing the historical disadvantage suffered in the past
- More realistic and proportionate approach to the degree of mapping accuracy required, taking into account local circumstances and the genuine risk to public money.
Commenting, Mr Ewing said:
“Current CAP rules are too prescriptive and do not allow enough tailoring for local circumstances. Our proposals seek to correct this by enabling CAP to match local needs, removing the risk of farmers suffering heavy penalties for minor non-compliance, while also reducing current excessive administrative burdens and ensuring external convergence monies are passed to the right sub-Member State area.”
“The next two years are hugely important in determining what kind of country Scotland will be. We are clear that powers over agriculture policy and funding should be returned to Scotland and we are committed to continued constructive engagement during the negotiations to help shape the future of CAP to ensure the future policy successfully delivers on its objectives to benefit the EU and Scotland.”
By the time of the General Election it will have been a year since the UK voted to Leave the EU, however, in Scotland and Orkney the vote was strongly to Remain. No one knows what kind of deal the UK will get from the 27 countries of the EU so great uncertainty hangs over the economy. In particular for Farming, so vital a part of Orkney, these are worrying times.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame