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Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 561: debated on Wednesday 24 April 2013

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions on CAP reform with a range of industry stakeholders in Scotland. On 27 March, we facilitated a meeting between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the National Farmers Union Scotland on CAP reform-related issues. The UK Government are pressing hard for a new CAP that takes account of the range of interests across the UK, including in Scotland.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply. Has he considered the impact of greening the CAP and, in particular, is he confident that there will be match funding from the Treasury?

This is one of the many issues that have been discussed. I and the Secretary of State for Scotland continue to argue for Scotland’s interests in these matters.

Does the Minister support the efforts of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to end direct payments out of pillar 1 of CAP? What effect does he think that would have on Scottish farming?

The hon. Gentleman is misrepresenting the situation. Scotland will have flexibility to determine its own arrangements in relation to CAP reform.

With rising food prices and food poverty, has the Minister made any representations to colleagues about the need to grow more food in Scotland?

The hon. Gentleman will know that in his constituency, as in my own constituency, there is a strong view that we should grow more of our own food. I encourage local farmers to do so.