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Convergence in the spotlight

Fergus Ewing made a statement to the Scottish parliament this week continuing to press the UK government to pass on the CAP convergence money to Scottish farmers.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scottish hill farmers are owed £160 million, which the UK Government has repeatedly failed to return to Scotland – where it was earned. Without Scotland, the UK would not have received an extra penny.
“The EU clearly intended this money to go to the farmers who receive the least amount of support, yet the UK has simply pocketed the money. Frankly, the money should be returned.
“This demand is not against farmers in other parts of the UK. It is about setting a baseline for future agricultural funding with the UK. Unless the UK Government returns the money, how can we rely on them to treat our farmers fairly in Brexit negotiations and future funding discussions.”
Scottish hill farmers are owed around £160 million in CAP funding that the UK Government has failed to return to Scotland. Under the last CAP reform, the EU set out to redistribute direct payments more equally based on average Euros per hectare. The UK only qualified for a £190 million uplift because Scotland’s average rate brought the UK below the qualifying threshold. The UK Government allocated Scotland £30 million with the rest being distributed across the UK, despite this money being earned in Scotland.



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