Royal Highland Show 2013: Lochhead told to learn from English ‘mistakes’

Owen Paterson has invited Scots farm minister Richard Lochhead down south to learn from English mistakes made when moving from an historic- to area-based farm subsidies system.

Speaking at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh this week, the DEFRA secretary of state said the Scottish government must avoid making the same mistakes England made when moving to an area-based system – mistakes which cost the government some £590m in EU fines.

“Lochhead must come down and see what happened in England and see how not to do it,” said Mr Paterson.  “Go to the RPA [Rural Payments Agency] and see our office.”

In the future, regional decision-making would be crucial and the implementation of a new CAP regime in Scotland would be down to the Scottish government, he said.

“Lochhead must come down and see what happened in England and see how not to do it.”
Owen Paterson

“This will be a Scottish CAP, it will be decided by Scottish minister,” said Mr Paterson. 

Wading into the independence debate, he said Scottish independence would be “very regrettable” and a “very sad move” because the UK and Scottish governments worked together well with regards agriculture.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly, Richard Lochhead said he was grateful for the invitation to learn from the English experience of moving from historic- to area-based.

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