Tories threat to agricultural payments pushing more farmers towards independence
THE POTENTIAL CHAOS to the livelihoods of farmers from Brexit is increase support for independence, a MSP for the South of Scotland has said.
Gaffe prone Tory farming minister Andrea Leadsom has failed to confirm what support will replace the Common Agricultural Payments system provided by the European Union, and wider fears exist over whether current export quotas negotiated through the EU can remain in Tory-led trade deals.
MSP Joan McAlpine said that there are specific concerns among Scotland’s farming community about how Brexit promises have been abandoned, and the rush towards a hard exit from the single market.
Scotland’s only Tory MP, David Mundell, was challenged on the issue by a member of the public who said farmers in his own constituency were now supporting independence.
— Michael Gray (@GrayInGlasgow) February 17, 2017
McAlpine, commenting on the issue, said: “Our farmers in Scotland currently receive 16 per cent of the UK’s CAP payments, well above our UK population share of 8 per cent. After 2021 the UK has not promised to pass this on…the Langholm farmer I spoke to recently farmed lamb, much of which went to France.
“Tariffs would kill their business and a free trade deal with The EU (which would take many years) will not cover agriculture, which would be subject to tariffs. Free Trade Agreements don’t cover agriculture full stop.
“Finally my hill farmer constituent was alarmed at talk of a future UK Free Trade Deal with New Zealand, recently held up as a great example of a ‘Brexit Global Opportunity’ by Tory ministers. Welsh farmers have already expressed alarm at this resulting in a flood of cheap lamp, effectively wiping out their fragile hill farming businesses. That applies to the uplands of Scotland too.”
While there has been widespread community opposition to so-called ‘Free Trade Deals’ like Ceta and TTIP as negotiated by the European Union, some of those same campaigners are worried that Westminster control over trade negotiations will lead to even more extreme corporate deals.
The Tory government has been outspoken in its support for deals like Ceta and TTIP.
Picture courtesy of Duarte JH
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