NFU demands Scotland-specific support payments

The NFU has stressed that future financial support schemes must reflect the particular needs of Scotland.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 12:00 pm

Interim arrangements have been in place since January, under the Trade and Co-operation Agreement, and still closely mirror that of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

The UK Government are now consulting on what future arrangements should be introduced, with a possibility of minimal change.

NFU Scotland said they fully recognised why the agricultural markets in Scotland and the rest of the UK should be closely aligned, but stressed it was important that future schemes recognise the particular demands north of the border.

Director of Policy Jonnie Hall said: “Agriculture and rural development policy is a devolved area for very good reason. It must reflect different needs and circumstances and our concern is that these subsidy control proposals could significantly constrain that.

"In our view agricultural and rural development financial support must be kept separate from the subsidy regime being proposed.”

Mr Hall said agricultural policy is current devolved and “should not be eroded via a backdoor of UK-wide subsidy control measures”.

"NFU Scotland is clear that the integrity of the UK internal market must not be undermined by excessive divergence in support payments,” he added.

"However, there are already clear safeguards in place internationally through the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and nationally through the UK’s Agricultural Support Framework to prevent this happening.”