Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, has reacted with disappointment to figures which highlight the extent to which Scottish crofters and farmers are losing out as a result of the Westminster Government’s failure to negotiate a favourable deal on the Common Agricultural Policy. The figures demonstrate that payments to Scottish crofters and farmers are likely to be the lowest in Europe for both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.
Alasdair Allan commented: “These figures show just how much Westminster isn’t working for Scotland and particularly not for crofters. According to recent analysis, the UK Government has negotiated Scotland down to the very bottom of the league tables of EU funding for agriculture. By contrast, if we had been an independent member state when the latest CAP budget was decided, our farmers and crofters would have been cumulatively £850 million better off by 2020.
“Scotland is now likely to be leapfrogged by Latvia and Estonia, countries smaller than Scotland but whose Ministers are able to sit at the top table in Brussels and make their farmers a priority. In contrast, we are looking at being rooted to the bottom of the league.
“Our farmers and crofters are getting a raw deal from a CAP budget which was negotiated without Scotland’s agriculture sector in mind, and without any direct say for the Scottish Government. This potentially has huge implications for a rural area such as the Western Isles, where crofting is so integral both to the economy and the community.
“It is becoming clearer and clearer that decisions about Scotland’s agricultural industry need to be taken by the people who live and work here and this will only happen if people choose to give Scotland that voice by means of a Yes vote next year.”