Date lodged: 21 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had or plans with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding issues arising in the current common agricultural policy (CAP) payments cycle; the continuity of CAP payments over the next five years, and the introduction of a similar system should the UK leave the EU.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 15 August 2016
Scottish Government officials are in regular contact with officials from other UK common agricultural policy (CAP) paying agencies, and from the UK Co-ordinating Body for CAP payments, on issues relating to the current cycle of payments. The Scottish Government is calling on the UK Government to provide urgent clarity about future funding.
Farmers and crofters rely, above almost anyone else in Scotland, on EU funding for their incomes, which helps them to deliver those environmental benefits and other public goods. Following an unequivocal Scottish vote to remain in the EU, the First Minister has committed to working to protect all of Scotland’s interests, and has committed to pursuing all options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU and seeking to negotiate the best way forward for our farmers, crofters and for Scotland.
In addition, we are currently engaging with key stakeholders to emphasise that we are still firmly in the EU, and it is business as usual whilst we pursue all options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU.