Tuesday, 27 September 2016 17:07

SNP demand answers on rural funding and protections post-brexit

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The SNP has demanded that the UK government provides clarity on rural funding arrangements – as a Scottish Parliamentary debate made clear the deep uncertainty that Brexit has left for rural communities.

Rural funding from the EU has been vital in supporting communities across Scotland, creating jobs and opportunities. This includes the Common Agricultural Policy, European Maritime and Fisheries Funding and European Regional Development Funding. Possible loss of food name protection for Scottish produce was also pointed to as a very real threat to Scotland’s food and drinks industry after Brexit.

The potential loss of EU support because of a right-wing Tory Brexit has led to the SNP calling for the UK government to reassure rural communities that they will not lose out.
Commenting, SNP MSP Richard Lochhead said:
“European Union funding has been vital for our rural communities ever since we joined – allowing jobs to be created, areas to be reinvigorated and communities to thrive, as well as providing food name protections which act as a guarantee of quality for the likes of Arbroath Smokies and Stornoway Black Pudding.
“Losing out on all this because of a Tory Brexit is unacceptable, and would simply prove the extent to which the UK government has failed Scotland’s rural communities – as they continue to delay repatriation of the red meat levy and stutter over confirming the continuation of CAP payments beyond 2020.
“From the European Regional Development Fund to the European Maritime and Fisheries Funding, it is clear how important EU funding is to our rural communities, and this is before loss of exports to a single market of 500 million people is even considered.
“Many people depend on this market and the freedom of movement that comes with it. Without this, our rural communities will be left in the lurch – a completely unacceptable outcome brought about by a right-wing Tory government that has no interest in Scotland’s rural economy.”

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