SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee has confirmed that the timetable for decisions on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is now almost certain to slide by three months.
This takes the final decision into the six month period where the Irish will hold the rotating EU Presidency, with March 2013 being the latest date pencilled in for final approval of the package in the European Parliament and the "trialogue" negotiations commencing thereafter.
Commenting, Alyn said:
"This was not unexpected, and has been largely driven by the ongoing stramash over the EU budget rather than any delays in the Parliament itself. It gives us a bit more time to do this properly which is always welcome, and I think having the Irish in the chair at crucial times will be no bad thing from a Scottish perspective.
"Of course, what Scotland's farmers want is as much certainty as soon as possible, and the negotiations are very much still full steam ahead. But having an eye over our shoulders at the parallel discussions over the EU budget is also crucial, and I think this short delay will allow us to adopt a more nuanced package in the final vote."
The latest timetable is:
15 December - deadline for compromise amendments to be presented to Agriculture Committee
23/24 January 2013 - CAP vote in Agriculture Committee
March 2013 - Plenary vote