Scottish farmers are anxiously heading into 2021 wondering if farm subsidies will soon disappear.
As it stands, the UK and Scottish governments have only committed to farm funding to the end of 2022 once outside the European Union (EU).
While the UK government’s spending review of 25 November confirmed the same funding that Scotland received via the CAP in 2019 would be available to the Scottish government for 2021/22, this fell short of previous Conservative pledges to commit funding on a multi-annual basis.
Lack of commitment
Farmers are complaining that the lack of commitment is “eroding certainty and confidence of agricultural businesses” which face the prospect of a potentially chaotic and very turbulent post-transition period.
As the UK fully departs the EU on 1 January 2021, it also leaves the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which has consistently delivered significant financial support to Scottish agriculture for decades.
NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: “NFU Scotland has always been crystal clear that in the post-Brexit era, Scottish farmers and crofters must have access to the same amount of funding as they had under the CAP, as promised in the Conservative manifestos, and that the sector should not be disadvantaged financially by Brexit.
“We need clear long-term commitments from Treasury to honour promises made for at least the remainder of the UK parliamentary term to 2025.
"The absence of such commitments will threaten the stability of Scottish farm businesses entering an uncharted period.”