Dumfries and Galloway Member of Parliament, Alister Jack has written to the UK government’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, asking him to review the convergence uplift and assess how the UK government can ensure Scottish farmers receive a fair settlement.
Mr Jack’s letter received the support of all Scottish Conservative MPs and urged the UK’s Environment Secretary to appoint an independent figure to consider the issue of the convergence uplift and report back speedily with specific recommendations.
The UK qualified for additional funds for farmers – the convergence uplift – from the EU thanks to the nature of the farming industry in Scotland.
In 2013, the UK government decided to distribute this additional money throughout the four nations of the UK, rather than target it in Scotland.
Mr Jack wrote “There have long been concerns that Scottish farmers have not seen the benefit of funding which is due to Scotland’s particular needs.
“On this vital issue, we have not seen any constructive suggestions from the Scottish Government, only grandstanding. While it may have boosted SNP morale, it has not resulted in a single Scottish farmer receiving a penny more in support. Put simply, the Scottish Government’s approach has not worked.
“Instead, we as Scottish Conservative MPs want to work with you on finding a solution.
“I recognise that there is always uncertainty during times of significant change, as the Brexit process undoubtedly is, but the UK government’s commitment to guarantee the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the parliament in 2022 has provided much needed reassurance.
“On the convergence uplift, I believe the constructive approach that I have recommended to Michael Gove will add credibility to future funding allocations between the UK nations and deliver a fairer outcome for Scotland.”