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Final CAP negotiations underway in Strasbourg

Alyn Smith MEP, SNP member of the European Parliament's powerful Agriculture Committee, has today welcomed the commencement of the final discussions on the shape of the CAP 2014 - 2020.

Alyn, who is leading for his political group in the negotiations on the rural development portfolio of CAP reform, is meeting with fellow shadow rapporteurs from the Parliament, plus representatives from the Council and the Commission in order to formulate an agreed position between the three institutions on remaining points of conflict.

Today's meeting will be discussing advisory services for producers, basic services for the EU's rural communities, matters related to forestry within the CAP and investments.

Speaking before the meeting, Alyn said:

"Scottish farmers have been done over by the UK government in these talks. Despite warm words, the UK representation in the Council made no attempt to improve the current inadequate and grossly unfair deal that Scottish farmers receive.

"With Pillar One support meaning the difference between survival and closure for some farms in Scotland, but still the UK government is fighting to see its demise, and PIllar Two allocation for Scotland the lowest in the whole EU, it is impossible to say that the UK is working in the best interests of Scottish farming.

"I hope to see some improvements finalised in these meetings but I remain frustrated that we have got to this stage with not just no help, but sometimes outright opposition from the UK representatives in Council. I will continue to put Scotland and our producers first, last and always."