Boris Johnson to announce extra £50m boost for Scottish farmers
Boris Johnson will pledge Scottish farmers an extra £50m over the next two years as part of a bid to ensure “fair” funding for the industry across the UK.
The additional £51.4m follows the £160m earmarked for the sector north of the border by Sajid Javid at Wednesday's spending review.
Downing Street said the cash would end the “longstanding dispute” over EU ‘convergence’ funding, which Scottish farmers had argued should have been allocated to them in 2014 rather than distributed across the UK.
The Government also confirmed that farmers in Wales would receive a further £5m.
On a visit to Aberdeenshire, the Prime Minister will confirm that the Government will accept the funding recommendations made in a report by Lord Bew, which was published on Friday.
Mr Johnson said: “For too long, Scottish farmers have been given a poor deal by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, which is why we are taking this opportunity to change things for the better.
“I made a pledge to resolve the historic funding gap for Scottish farmers and delivering on this promise has been a priority since I became Prime Minister.
“Today’s announcement was the first step in making sure future funding is fairly allocated across the UK, taking into account the unique farming environments in Scotland.
“Once we are out of the EU, we will have a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farmers – and we will make sure that Scottish farmers get a fairer deal.”
Scotland Secretary Alister Jack said: “I’m absolutely delighted by this result and know our hard working farmers across Scotland will welcome it warmly.
“Leaving the EU will give us an historic opportunity to tailor support better to Scotland’s unique farming environment."
Andrew McCornick from the National Farmers’ Union Scotland said: “This is something I’ve lobbied for as a backbench MP and will continue to pursue as Scotland Secretary.”
“Taken together, the two announcements will inject £211 million into Scottish agriculture over the next two years.
“At a time of uncertainty, that represents the largest funding uplift for the sector in recent memory.”