Boris Johnson announces extra funding for Scottish farmers
Johnson moves his political battle to Scotland
Image credit: PA
Boris Johnson was due to visit Aberdeenshire on Friday after announcing an extra £51.4m for Scottish farmers over the next two years.
The additional funding follows the £160m earmarked for the sector north of the border by Sajid Javid at Wednesday's spending review.
Downing Street said the cash would end the “longstanding dispute” over EU ‘convergence’ funding.
Johnson said: “For too long, Scottish farmers have been given a poor deal by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, which is why we are taking this opportunity to change things for the better.
“I made a pledge to resolve the historic funding gap for Scottish farmers and delivering on this promise has been a priority since I became Prime Minister.
“Today’s announcement was the first step in making sure future funding is fairly allocated across the UK, taking into account the unique farming environments in Scotland.
“Once we are out of the EU, we will have a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farmers – and we will make sure that Scottish farmers get a fairer deal.”
Andrew McCornick from the National Farmers’ Union Scotland said: “This is something I’ve lobbied for as a backbench MP and will continue to pursue as Scotland Secretary.
“Taken together, the two announcements will inject £211 million into Scottish agriculture over the next two years.
“At a time of uncertainty, that represents the largest funding uplift for the sector in recent memory.”
But Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, insisted the money should have been given to farmers and crofters in Scotland in 2016.
Meanwhile, former prime minister John Major condemned Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament during a visit to Glasgow on Thursday,
He accused the Government of operating via "bluster and threat in a climate of aggressive bullying" and urged Johnson to ditch his "overmighty advisers".
The Prime Minister’s trip to Scotland is expected to include a visit to the Queen’s Balmoral estate.
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