How do Scottish farmers benefit from EU membership?
EU funding, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, is supporting Scotland’s farmers, small rural businesses and helping to build sustainable rural communities.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is indispensable to farmers in Scotland who receive EU subsidies to support their businesses. These allow them to produce enough food to meet our domestic needs and export many of our famous products of origin around the world.
The EU CAP provides standard payments as well as specific targeted support schemes including the Less Favourable Area Support scheme and the Beef Efficiency scheme. In Scotland, 85% of all agricultural land is regarded ‘Less Favourable’ and therefore this targeted support is absolutely essential to the industry - ensuring hill farming is sustained and land abandonment avoided.
Many doubt whether agriculture would be afforded such importance by a UK Government charged with responsibility for the funding.
The SNP want to see Scotland have a stronger voice in the EU to argue, among other things, for more of the convergence uplift payment - which accrues to the UK because of Scotland’s challenging landscape - to be invested in Scottish farming and rural communities. Only 16% of this payment was invested in Scotland at the hands of the UK Government.