Date lodged: 20 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to ensure that the system that will replace the common agricultural policy after the UK leaves the EU will tie direct payments to delivering wider social and environmental aims.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 15 August 2016
The Scottish Government’s priority, following a strong, unequivocal Scottish vote to remain in the EU is to protect Scotland’s interests, and, we are intent on 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.
Farmers and crofters rely, above almost anyone else in Scotland, on EU funding as part of their incomes, which helps them to deliver those environmental benefits and other public goods, and we are actively seeking clarity from UK Government on the provision of funding in the event that Scotland is removed from the EU as part of the UK.
Tying direct payments to delivering environmental benefits is currently included as part of the common agricultural policy through the greening element, that requires farmers and crofters to deliver measures beneficial for the climate and the environment.