Scottish Tories call for independent review of Scottish CAP payments

Scottish Conservative MPs have written to Defra secretary Michael Gove asking him to conduct an independent review into how Scottish farmers can receive their fair allocation of EU funds.

In the letter, Alister Jack, MP for Dumfries and Galloway, welcomed the commitment made by the Conservatives to continue farm support at current levels until 2022.

But he said the Scottish Conservatives now wanted to work with the minister to find a solution to the problem of the so-called “convergence uplift”, by asking him to appoint an independent figure to review the funding allocation.

See also: Future of Subsidies: Improved efficiency will be essential

The UK has qualified for around £190m of additional funds over six years from the EU for farmers because of the nature of farming in Scotland, known as the convergence uplift.

But rather than pass this additional funding onto Scottish farmers, the UK government has instead split it equally between the four devolved nations.

Failed approach

The Scottish government has repeatedly called on Defra to act in giving Scottish farmers their fair allocation, but Mr Jack slammed the Scottish government’s actions as ineffective “grandstanding”.

“While it may have boosted Scottish National Party morale, it has not resulted in a single Scottish farmer receiving a penny more in support.

“Put simply the Scottish government’s approach has not worked.”

Mr Jack said the independent figure should report back to the minister with specific recommendations.

“We believe this constructive approach will add credibility to future funding allocations between the UK nations and deliver a fairer outcome for Scotland.”

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