Date lodged: 23 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding whether it will maintain the budget allocation given to Scotland under the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme after the UK leaves the EU.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 31 January 2017
When I met with DEFRA Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom on 2 November 2016 I sought guarantees that LFASS payments, which are a vital income support for livestock producers and help to maintain fragile rural communities, will be honoured in 2019.
Following this meeting I then wrote to both Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 30 November 2016, highlighting the importance of the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme to Scotland, and seeking assurances that the UK Government guarantees on EU funding will include LFASS payments for 2019 and 2020.
The Scottish Government is now in active discussions with HMT around guarantees for LFASS, we have provided additional information and we are pressing HMT for a more flexible approach to their guarantees to cover this important funding support for the agriculture sector in Scotland.