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20 July 2017

Tories Signal Cuts to Agricultural Funding

Gove Threat to Farm Cash

Addressing the WWF tomorrow, UK Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove will deliver an unambiguous threat to farm cash, demonstrating once again that the UK Government cannot be trusted to look after our farmers beyond Brexit.

In his first speech in his new post, Mr Gove will say:

“…I want to ensure we go on generously supporting farmers for many more years to come. But that support can only be argued for against other competing public goods if the environmental benefits of that spending are clear.”

Amid fears that farming and fishing will be left without continued financial support beyond 2022 from the UK Government, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson is renewing calls for powers over agriculture, fisheries and the rural economy to be repatriated to Scotland.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson, who is a member of Holyrood’s Rural Economy committee, said:

“This is an unambiguous Tory threat to continued agricultural support funding after 2022 – that is the stark post-Brexit reality which the UK Government is now proposing for our rural communities.

“Scottish farmers, like others across the UK, rely heavily on farming subsidies and their farm payments must be protected.

“Michael Gove’s empty rhetoric and false promises during the Brexit campaign have long since been exposed, and now he is backtracking on all the assurances he has ever made to Scotland.

“Powers over agriculture and fisheries must be repatriated to Scotland to enable a localised approach to these sectors and to put them and the wider natural environment at the heart of what we do. And it is vital that UK funding follows the powers to enable delivery.

“The Tory government has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to champion Scottish farmers’ interests, and we cannot let them use Brexit as cover for a naked power grab that will leave Scotland’s farmers worse off.”
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