Scottish farmers face losing hundreds of millions of pounds in subsidy after Brexit unless the UK government increases funding for Holyrood, a Scottish parliament committee has been told.
Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, an economics think-tank at Strathclyde University, and the National Farmers Union Scotland said the European Union (EU) referendum vote raised significant doubts over the future of £452m in common agriculture programme spending in Scotland, because of the current Treasury deal to fund Holyrood.
Pro-Brexit campaigners insisted during the referendum campaign that all agricultural funding would be protected, as Westminster would equally redistribute the £350m a week it would allegedly save from no longer funding the EU.
Professor Roy, however, told Holyrood’s European and External Relations Committee that this was not currently possible. UK ministers would have to find a way of changing the current fiscal support system or protecting Scottish agriculture funding through another route.
Added Kenneth Gibson:
“The UK Tory Government is the architect of this mess and needs to sort it out.
“Every day in the Holyrood Chamber, Tory MSPs demand that more money is spent across every devolved service, seemingly oblivious to the cuts their own party has inflicted on Scotland year-on-year. It is time they took their arguments to their party bosses in London and work with the SNP Government to ensure Scottish farmers don’t lose out from a Brexit brought about by the Tories themselves.”