Vote YES for Scottish farmers
As farmers, we are rightly proud of our annual £2.7 billion contribution to the Scottish economy. However, all too often, the needs of Scottish farmers and rural communities have been ignored by successive Westminster governments, as demonstrated by the recent decisions on convergence payments.
With 85% of our land classified as “Less Favoured”, Scotland has very different agricultural needs and priorities from the rest of the UK. Agriculture is also significantly more important to the Scottish economy than to the UK’s as a whole.
Our farming sector has never been better represented than under our accessible and accountable devolved government - but only with the full powers of independence can we pursue our own distinctive priorities to create a more prosperous, sustainable and successful future for our industry.
YES for farming in Europe
Westminster has now negotiated Scotland to the bottom of the CAP league tables. As well as negotiating the lowest direct farm payments in the EU by 2019, Westminster deprived Scottish farmers of the 230 million euro convergence uplift payments approved by Europe and fought for by the Scottish Government. Despite cross party support in Holyrood, Westminster overruled Scottish representatives and refused to allocate the funds to Scotland.
Not being an independent member of the EU has already cost Scottish farmers an extra 1 billion euros. Only with independence can Scotland have a direct voice in Europe and ensure the needs of Scottish farmers and rural communities are represented and rewarded.
Farming in an Independent Scotland
Our agricultural sector underpins the rural economy and our hugely successful food and drink sector. As well as growing food to feed ourselves, we supply a thriving export market with an international reputation for high quality food and drink. Our farmers and crofters are stewards of our land and contribute greatly to our natural heritage, support our environment and underpin our tourism.
Scotland is blessed with natural resources in terms of food and energy security. We are 100% self sufficient in eggs and vegetables, 130% self sufficient in milk, 160% self sufficient in beef, 600% self sufficient in wheat and potatoes, 1500% self sufficient in lamb and sea fish.
We range from small crofts to large scale livestock and arable farms. Scottish agriculture is comparatively more important to the Scottish economy than England’s agriculture is to the English economy.
Our farming environment is uniquely Scottish - 85% of the land in Scotland is classed as “less favoured area” compared to 17% of the land in England. 60% of our land is rough grazing and we are home to more than one quarter of the UK beef herd.
But despite our distinctiveness, we currently have no voice in Europe. Successive Westminster governments, who do not share our priorities or understand the challenges we face, have argued for significant reductions in agricultural support payments.
Scotland now has the third lowest average direct payment per hectare in Europe. Under the newly negotiated agricultural subsidy for 2014-2020 (Pillar One of Common Agricultural Policy) Scotland will have a lower average rate per hectare than any other member state in Europe and than the rest of the UK.
Farming4Yes – fighting for farming in an independent Scotland
Farming4Yes exists to voice the concerns and celebrate the contribution and creativity of Scottish farmers and crofters who want to farm in an independent Scotland.
We want our elected representatives to argue our case with force and credibility, both within Scotland and inside Europe. Farmers4Yes believe that the only people we can trust to understand our concerns and fight our corner are our own MSPs, MEPs and representatives.
Vote YES for the future
Our agriculture sector has a world class reputation for producing high quality, high value products. An independent Scotland can build on that reputation and create new opportunities for exports to emerging markets.
In 2018 the next CAP reform talks begin. Do you want Scotland represented by a UK government, which has repeatedly worked against the interests of Scottish farming, or an independent Scottish government – standing up for and championing the needs and interests of our industry and our rural communities? Visit our website, explore the issues and make the right choice on 18 September.
It’s time to plough our own furrow – join Farming4Yes today and lets support farming to thrive and prosper in an independent Scotland.
Join us today and lets make our voice heard!