Scottish Conservative MP for Ochil & South Perthshire has used Back British Farmers Day to warn that the SNP are “abandoning farmers” over future agricultural policy in Scotland.
Today, the Agricultural Bill will begin its first stages in the House of Commons. While a significant part of agricultural policy is devolved to Edinburgh, the legislation brought forward by the UK government will ensure farmers across the UK will continue to receive CAP payments until the end of 2020.
The Welsh Government and Department for Agriculture, Environmental and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland have requested for the UK Government to legislate on their behalf in some areas of agricultural policy. This offer was extended to Edinburgh, but the SNP has instead chosen to bring forward their own proposal.
However, the tired Programme of Government put forward by the SNP Administration last week failed to include a bill on agriculture.
Commenting, the Ochil & South Perthshire MP Luke Graham said:
“The UK Government has taken action to provide certainty for farmers by guaranteeing CAP payments for farmers across the UK. Unlike in Wales, the SNP has decided not to extend certain aspects of the Bill to Scotland.
“But the SNP have failed to even include an agricultural bill in their weak Programme for Government, showing a complete disregard for farmers.
“Due to their incompetence and political point scoring, the SNP administration is leaving farmers in the dark over what post-Brexit agricultural policy will look like in Scotland. Farmers need clarity on this as a matter of urgency and time is running out for the SNP to act.
“Instead of constantly politicising Brexit to trigger a second independence referendum they should get back to the day job and use their powers to develop policy and support our rural communities.”