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. Scotland currently receives around £580 million each year through the EU’s CAP. 

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 per cent 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. 

The SNP want to see Scotland have a stronger voice in the EU to argue, among other things, for more of the uplift payment paid to the UK Government due to Scotland’s challenging landscape. Instead of passing on this money in full to Scotland, Westminster short-changed Scotland’s farmers by £160 million. 

EU membership also allows us to protect and promote the identities of Scotland’s world renowned produce, including whisky, Stornoway Black Pudding and Arbroath Smokies, through Protected Geographical Indications.