NFU Scotland will be in Luxembourg and Brussels this week as Europe closes in on a deal on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Union’s President, Nigel Miller is in Luxembourg today (Monday, 24 June) where Agricultural Ministers are staging a council meeting.  Progress on CAP at that meeting will be crucial if a deal on CAP is to be secured before Ireland gives up its Presidency of the EU on 30 June. 

If progress is made, then there is the potential for the outline deal on CAP to be taken to the European Parliament in Brussels later this week for ratification.

Speaking from Luxembourg, Nigel Miller said:

“The next few days could see a headline deal on CAP Reform thrashed out, laying down the basics of a package that will shape Scottish agriculture and our associated industries to 2020 and beyond.

“There are signs that the grand-standing and political posturing that are a common feature of any CAP negotiations are softening and there appears to be a genuine appetite to nail the fundamental principles in the next few days.  If that is achieved, then the focus shifts to implementation and Scotland will then use the remainder of 2013 and the start of 2014 to decide on how we may best use any options available.

“We have been working tirelessly these last few days and made use of the heavy political presence at the Highland Show in Edinburgh last week to reiterate to decision-makers at all levels the red line issues for Scotland in these negotiations.

“We need a meaningful package on voluntary coupling of support; we need workable and pragmatic solutions on greening that recognise the unique farming systems across much of Scotland and we need a way of bringing new entrants to Scottish farming into the support arrangements from day one.

“We also want flexibility married to simplicity and that will be a difficult package to achieve.

“In the next 48 hours, I will continue to use my time in Luxembourg to put these points across to those representing us round the table as negotiations potentially approach a conclusion.  Getting the right deal from CAP for Scotland is a huge prize that will set up a platform for our food and farming industries for years to come.”    Ends

Date Published:

News Article No.: 86/13

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