The Conservatives have appealed to Scotland’s farming community to back them at next month’s election, claiming only their party would allow the agricultural sector to take full advantage of opportunities created by Brexit.
On a campaign stop north of the Border today, cabinet minister Michael Gove said a majority Tory government would match the current annual budget available to farmers in every year of the next UK Parliament. As farming is a reserved matter, the details of how the money would be spent would be left to the Scottish Government. But Mr Gove said that farmers north of the Border would receive the same level in cash terms as they receive at the moment. Mr Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: ““That is a five year guarantee and it means farmers and land managers will receive the same level of support in cash terms. “Agriculture is devolved so it will be for the Scottish Government to determine how that money is distributed. “But Scottish farmers can be reassured the total amount of support will be maintained under a Conservative UK government. “Farmers can invest with confidence for the future. That is great news for one of Scotland’s most important industries. “No other party is making this promise and no other country is offering such certainty for its farmers.”
But the Lib Dems general election campaign chairman in Scotland, Alex Cole-Hamilton, said: “Michael Gove is a fool if he thinks Brexit will benefit Scottish farmers.
“Farms are struggling to get the seasonal workers they need and worried that new barriers will cost them money.”
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to stopping Brexit and ensuring a brighter future for our farmers.”