Threat to Scottish Farming as the UK Government is Set to Take Back Control

Scotland has a successful quality producing agricultural industry.

Total Income from farming

Scottish Government Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services

National Statistics (1)The figures released, by the independent statistical unit,  however, show that subsidies pay a key role in being able to produce affordable food.

Figures in £millions

  • Single farm payments: £404,900
  • Less Favoured Area Support Scheme: £59,200
  • Scottish Beef Calf/Beef Scheme: £27,759
  • Rural Stewardship Scheme: £24,868

£61,845 (£millions) was paid out in  total for Environmentally Sensitive Areas Payments, Countryside Premium Scheme, Organic Aid Scheme, Land Management Contract Menu, Arable Area Payment Scheme, Farm Woodland Scheme, Farm Woodland Premium Scheme, Farmland Premium Scheme, Chernobyl Compensation payments and other compensation payments, including severe weather payments and EU Dairy Fund, and Fallen Stock.

The percentage of the working population employed in agriculture is only 2.6%, however, hired farm workers are working over 40 hours a week for an average of £423.87.

Most concerning for Scotland’s agricultural industry as the UK leaves the EU in a few months time on 29th March 2019 is the make up of our farming with Sheep and Cattle in Less Favoured Areas making up a large area of activity at 3,369,775 ha.

Agricultural figures 2017

Scottish Government Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services

The difference in the industry in the 4 countries which make up the UK can be seen in this table.

The UK Government intends to adopt UK wide Frameworks for the farming industry. It also intends taking the powers over farming back under its control in London. This means the Scottish Parliament will no longer be able to respond to the needs of our own industry.

Having control over farming removed from the Scottish Parliament will result in the UK frameworks favouring the industry which is in the largest of the 4 nations in the UK. Not only Scottish farming but that in Wales and Northern Ireland will also be affected by the removal of control over the industry. That is why the vote in the House of Commons over amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill this week was  so important to the Devolved nations.

Less Favoured Area 2017

Scottish Government Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services

This table is even starker.

The consequences for leaving the EU for the agricultural industry in Scotland will be bad enough but with control over this sector being removed to London it will be devastating.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame




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