SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has published her party’s manifesto, which promises to take the UK government on to give Scotland’s farmers a fairer deal.
Ms Sturgeon unveiled the manifesto, called Stronger for Scotland, with the claim that it will end austerity and deliver progressive change.
Her key promise to the farming community is that the SNP will fight for a fair share of the CAP convergence uplift – money which goes to the UK as a result of historically low payments in Scotland.
The 56-page document also pledges to scrutinise UK government actions at an EU level to ensure that Scotland’s farming and fishing industries receive full backing and support.
The manifesto says the SNP will take forward Scotland’s new rural development programme and deliver a simplified CAP.
The plan – worth £1.3bn over the next seven years – will deliver critical support for Scottish farming and food production, says the document.
“We will continue to press for speedy European sign-off of Scotland’s rural development programme and, in the meantime, will continue to take action here in Scotland to minimise any delay or disruption to payments.
“SNP MPs will urge the UK government to work with the European Commission to deliver a simplified CAP, in particular with a review of direct payments and greening, in line with proposals in the Brian Pack report to reduce red tape.
“We will also continue to press the agriculture commissioner to ensure Scottish farmers get clarity and certainty over the implementation arrangements for the new CAP.”
Devolution for food levies
Other pledges, included in the document, that will affect farmers include the continued promotion of a local food supply, including within the public sector, the protection of Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation and the introduction of a similar obligation for broadband services.
The SNP will also seek full devolved responsibility over all food levies to support the promotion of Scotland’s food and drink, the manifesto adds.