Yesterday [Wednesday 10 October] Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove addressed the UK Parliament on the Agriculture Bill during its second reading. He guaranteed that agricultural funding will not be Barnettised post-Brexit. This is to ensure that the rightly generous settlement which Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales currently receive will be defended.
Welcoming the announcement, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:
This is great news for Scottish farmers. Under the present arrangements, Scotland receives twice as much money for farming support than might be expected were the Barnett formula alone used to determine allocations. So Michael Gove’s commitment that future agriculture funding will not be Barnettised should be welcomed across the board.
More details of future support arrangements will be announced shortly but this latest guarantee reinforces our commitment to Scottish farmers. It comes with the UK Government already having agreed to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support for Scotland until 2022.
I remain concerned that the Scottish Government is keeping Scottish farmers in the dark about its plans for the future of agriculture. Farmers in Scotland need the same reassurance that the UK Agriculture Bill is giving those in England and Wales and time is running out for the Scottish Government to act.