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EU Convergence Uplift Funding

Volume 632: debated on Thursday 7 December 2017

7. What recent discussions he has had with the (a) Scottish Government and (b) National Farmers Union of Scotland on EU convergence uplift funding. (902796)

I met the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, on 6 November, when we discussed EU convergence uplift funding, and I most recently met the National Farmers Union of Scotland on 31 October, when that funding was one of a number of issues discussed. I look forward to seeing the Scottish Cabinet Secretary next Thursday, and also, thanks to the intercession of my hon. Friend the Member for Gordon (Colin Clark), to meeting representatives of the NFU of Scotland on that day as well.

Back in September, key farming organisations, including the NFUS, wrote to the Minister on convergence uplift. I have been told that the Government have not yet responded. Why have they not responded, and will the Minister fix the scandal now by committing to give Scottish farmers the £160 million they are rightfully due?

I absolutely recognise, and indeed have explained to the hon. Gentleman’s Scottish National party colleague, that the issue of convergence uplifting is ripe for reassessment. I have discussed the issue not just with the Scottish Cabinet Secretary, but with farming union representatives, and I know it will be raised when we meet next week.