Farmers in the Borders being ‘kept in the dark’ by SNP’s inability to work with the UK Government

Farmers in the Borders are being kept in the dark about future support thanks to the SNP’s refusal to work with the UK Government.

The UK Government has published its Agricultural Bill, which will ensure that farmers in the Borders, Scotland and across the UK will continue to receive CAP payments until the end of this Parliament.

The Bill also provides the framework for future farming systems that is less bureaucratic and focuses on improving competitiveness and protecting the environment. Legislation needs to be in force by 1st January 2020 in order for farmers to receive payments. 

Unlike the Welsh Government, the SNP Government has decided not to extend the powers of the Bill to Scotland. It is now for them to bring forward their own proposals, but the Scottish Government has yet to publish draft legislation and an Agriculture Bill was not included in their latest programme for Government.

The news comes as the NFUS has called for “politicians of all parties” to work to “secure something as close to Chequers agreement as possible.” The Scottish Government continues to oppose the Chequers agreement, saying it’s MPs will vote against.

John Lamont MP said: “Much of agricultural policy in Scotland is devolved yet the SNP Government is keeping farmers in the dark about what their policy actually is.

“New legislation going through the Commons will ensure farmers in the Borders, Scotland and across the UK will continue to receive CAP payments until the end of this Parliament.

“The Welsh Government has requested for the UK Government to legislate on their behalf in some areas of agricultural policy.

“This offer was extended to the Scottish Government, but they have refused, despite having no plans themselves.

“Now we hear the NFUS is urging the Scottish Government to back Chequers, but again the Scottish Government are refusing to put people ahead of politics and continue to grandstand on this issue.

“The SNP has a record of failure on farming support payments. Their new IT system was two and a half times over budget and it still doesn’t work properly.

“Now due to their incompetence and inability to work with the UK Government, farmers are being left in the dark about what the future will look like.”