Government ministers in London need to come clean on what will happen to Scotland’s farmers if the UK votes to leave the EU, the SNP’s rural affairs spokesperson in Westminster has claimed.
Borders MP Calum Kerr told the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs that keeping farmers in the dark about a future outside the EU and the common agricultural policy (CAP) was no longer sustainable – and that any move away from current support levels could place the businesses of 70 per cent of Scotland’s farmers in jeopardy.
Following talks with farming minister, George Eustice, in Whitehall earlier this week, the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP said: “The truth is that the UK government has refused to give our farming communities any information about the future of the support payments they’ll receive if we’re out of Europe.”
Kerr added: “This can’t go on any longer. The vote is now just a few short months away and we need to know if the current policies will continue, funded by the UK government in the event of a Brexit – or if it will be replaced by something else.
“It’s a critical issue – CAP support in Scotland is worth around £4 billion in the period from 2015 to 2020. The stark truth is that without this, some 70 per cent of farmers here in Scotland would lose their livelihoods.”