Conservative MEP raises farming concerns with European Commission
Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP for Scotland, this week met with EU farming Commissioner Phil Hogan and asked him to bring forward plans to reduce red tape surrounding the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Ian has asked Commissioner Hogan to set a clear distinction between the treatment of farmers who make genuine mistakes in the completion of their registration documents and those who are guilty of fraud. Ian has also asked that the Commission provide sensible forewarning of any impending inspections.
Scottish farmers have raised serious concerns that the Scottish Government is ´gold-plating´ aspects of the CAP, and Ian has asked the Commission for confirmation that the Scottish Government are not guilty of creating unnecessary bureaucracy.
"Ensuring that farmers are given adequate warning of inspections would also be a step forward. Expecting farmers to be able to accommodate inspection officers at the drop of a hat is a big ask of farmers who already face the challenges of running the farm.
"A number of issues around the greening agenda have been brought in unilaterally by the Scottish Government including restrictions on the growing of Nitrogen Fixing Crops (NFC), the two crop requirement when it comes to NFCs, as well as the compulsory introduction of specific field margins around NFC fields. Is there anything which the Commission can do to allow for greater flexibility in these areas or is this purely a matter for the Scottish Government?
"As with any complicated application process errors do occur. Any help you can give to ensure that there is a clear distinction between the treatment of such genuine mistakes and serious attempts to defraud the system would be welcomed."
Notes to editors
Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland. He chairs the ECR Policy Group on the Rural Economy.
Phil Hogan is the European Commissioner for Agriculture - https://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/hogan_en
Contact Andrew Johnston
Chief of Staff, Ian Duncan MEP