With just 1 week to go for the UK EU Elections on Thursday May 23rd people are being urged to use their vote.
Local MSP Maree Todd, SNP has highlighted the issue facing farmers and crofters.
Scottish farmers receive £580 million annually through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The EU provided an uplift in funding as farmers and crofters in Scotland receive less per hectare than the EU average – but the Tories failed to pass the uplift on in full, short-changing Scotland by £160 million.
After Brexit the UK Government plans to take powers over farming – a sector currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The National Farmers Union, Scotland (NFUS) have supported the Scottish Government’s position that all decisions affecting farming and food production in Scotland should be taken in Scotland.
Maree Todd said:
“Brexit is an enormous threat to Highlands and Islands farmers, who are deeply concerned over export markets, the future of farm support and ability to hire seasonal staff.
“The Tories simply can’t be trusted after their brazen cash-grab of EU money from the pockets of Scottish farmers.
“Scottish farmers and crofters have now endured 3 years of uncertainty about access to European markets for our beef, lamb and other produce.
“On top of that, there is now the risk of our domestic market being flooded with food imports that don’t meet any of the high welfare and safety standards we farm to.
“The European election is a chance to send a message to the Tories that Highlands and Islands doesn’t want Brexit. A vote for the SNP is a vote to make clear Scotland says No to Brexit and to protect Scottish farming.”
Why should I vote?
The last EU elections in the UK were in 2014 – the turnout was 35.4%. In Scotland it was even lower – 33.5%.
The electorate in Scotland who could have voted numbered 4,016,735. The number who did vote numbered 1,345,667.
No matter what you think about all the various ways of voting in our elections, this is an electoral system where your 1 vote does count because it is added to all the others cast in Scotland for which ever party you choose to vote for. There is no such thing as a ‘wasted‘ vote.
In this election you will be voting for a political party – each party will have chosen who it has on its list. There are also 2 independent candidates standing.
Why should I bother if we are leaving the EU?
- If the elections take place it means we have not yet left so it is important that your views continue to be represented in the European Parliament
- Scotland is one ‘region’ – the EU elections define who will be representing not just you as an individual but the nation of Scotland.
Although the election takes place on Thursday 23rd of May the count will not take place until 10pm on Sunday 26th of May. This is because it is an election across the whole of the EU and some countries will not be voting until the Sunday.
You will be able to follow the results for the UK and/or any country in the EU here: European Election Results