Conservative MPs have been conducting a campaign of misinformation on the issue of farm payments, saying that farmers would not receive their payments because the Scottish Government refused the invitation to take a schedule in the Tories UK Agricultural bill.
This week the Law Society of Scotland confirmed that there will be no issues in direct payment to farmers following the UK leaving the EU. This assurance was made at the Scottish Affairs Committee following the passing of legislation at Westminster and agreed in the Scottish Parliament.
After this weeks Scottish Affairs meeting I issued the following statement, which I hope will put some minds at rest over this issue.
“I was pleased that at the Scottish Affairs committee, which I chair, it was clarified that there would be no issue with continuing payments to Perthshire farmers because of the Tories taking Scotland out of the EU against its will. The Law Society helpfully clarified that the legislation is in place and that all payments will continue.
‘Tayside Conservative MPs have been irresponsibly scaremongering on this issue suggesting that Scottish farmers would not receive payments because the Scottish Government declined to make use of provisions in the UK’s Agricultural Bill. I have a number of farmers in my constituency who are greatly concerned that they may not receive their payments because of this campaign from the Conservatives. The thing is that Scottish farmers will be paid and were always going to be paid. I hope that this campaign of disinformation from the Scottish Conservatives will now cease. It is the Conservatives who are taking Scotland out of the EU with all the consequences for Perthshire farmers including the possibility of disastrous tariffs and a lack of seasonal workforce.
‘The Scottish Government will be bringing in an Agricultural Bill later this year and it will be tailored to meet the specific requirements of Scottish agriculture. It is this that is required for Scotland, not a UK bill that barely mentions food production.”