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Future farming planning virtually impossible, Scotland says

Staff Writer |
Scotland has written to the UK government to seek more detail on future funding arrangements for the farming industry post-Brexit, calling future planning "virtually impossible."

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Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has written a letter to Defra Secretary Michael Gove, seeking a statement on what is guaranteed to support the devolved nations.

He said that without certainty of funding and the support schemes, forward planning is "virtually impossible".

He also said there is a lack of clarity surrounding the Conservative Party's commitment to match existing levels of farm support until 2022.

In his first major speech since being appointed job of Environment Secretary, Mr Gove announced plans to scrap the current subsidy system when the UK leaves the EU as part of his 'Green Brexit' plan.

Mr Gove said British farmers, who receive £3bn worth of farm subsidies from the EU every year, will continue to receive the same level until the end of at least 2022.

However, Ewing is not convinced at the proposals. He wrote: "There is no clarity of what this means.

"I hope that you are referring to a transition period for all aspects of CAP Pillar 1 and 2, at current funding levels, with the ability for each administration to continue the current schemes as they see fit, until there are substantive discussions on the future."

Scotland’s agriculture sector is dominated by livestock farmers and crofters, with 85% of Scotland’s agricultural land classed as Less Favoured Area.

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