Risk to farming not understood

Mike Weir
Mike Weir

Concerns about the effect the plans to end direct payments out of the Common Agricultural Policy can have on Scottish farming, has seen the Scotland Office come under fire.

Angus MP Mike Weir has accused the Scotland Office of being “asleep at the wheel” and not understanding the dangers to the farming industry by the aspiration of the current DEFRA secretary to end the payments.

Mr Weir raised the issue during Scottish Questions in the Commons last week and said that the Scotland Office Minister. David Mundell, clearly did not understand the importance of the issue.

Mr Weir said: “The Scotland Office are again asleep at the wheel and failing to understand that the policy being pursued by the UK government could have a very significant adverse impact on farming in Scotland.

“The DEFRA secretary has made clear his view that such payments should cease and matters be left entirely to the market, a view that has been rejected by both the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

“Removing direct payments for farm businesses would lead to bankruptcy for many and undermine Scotland’s ability to produce food and safeguard rural communities.

“Agriculture is a vital industry for Angus and the recent scandal over horse meat has shown the need to have a strong and sustainable farming industry, a fact recognised and consistently pursued by the Scottish Government.”