SNP MEP Alyn Smith, member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee since 2007, has today welcomed the statement by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, regarding the implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy for Scotland 2015 - 2020.
"I applaud the Cabinet Secretary and the Scottish Government for their efforts to get this right and am well aware that difficult decisions needed to be taken in order to remedy old inbalances that had been allowed to linger on, and in a funding situation that is less than good thanks to the extraordinary negotiations of the UK Government.
"If only it was possible to please everyone! However, the balance struck between moving forward - rectifying issues that needed sorting - and allowing farmers time to adapt is well made and should allow for the smoothest possible transition into the new regime.
"Scotland's agriculture is very different to the conditions south of the border and the Scottish Government has had to fight tooth and nail to have our specificities recognised by Westminster. Even with our limited powers we made some progress but this reform really has underlined how much better off we would be if we had our own seat at the top table for future negotiations.
"It is crucial that we vote for independence on 18th September.”
Richard Lochhead’s statement to the Scottish Parliament can be found here: