Labour’s “Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy”, published in 2005, called for the abolition of direct farm support under Pillar 1 and the slashing of import tariffs. Instead Labour’s ‘vision’ focused its measures on environmental and rural development, at the expense of agriculture.
Two independent reports were carried out for DEFRA, analysing the impact of such proposals. The reports clarify the extent of such damaging plans. The FAPRI report predicted nearly a third of beef and sheep numbers in Scotland would be lost and returns declining by 20%. The second report by Dutch researchers painted an even bleaker picture with 75% of UK livestock farms and nearly 60% of all UK farming businesses being unable to make a living if these plans went ahead.
Commenting, Mr Lyon said:
“I’m calling on the UK coalition Government to dump Labour’s ‘vision’ for the CAP. If Labour’s proposals had ever been implemented, farm businesses across the UK would have faced a very bleak future with many forced to quit.
The impact on Scotland would be even more pronounced as livestock farming accounts for a greater share of our agricultural output.
It is time for a new beginning and a fresh start in this new coalition Government’s approach to farming and there is a desperate need to go back to the drawing board and draw up new plans for a sustainable future for UK and Scottish farming.”