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Scottish Government backtrack on ‘Negative List’

Despite vocal opposition from SLE and others, in 2013 the Scottish Government implemented the negative list provisions of EU legislation in order to prevent inappropriate claimants of farm support. It has now transpired that it actually affected so few people that the government has decided to remove the requirement of the negative list, an element of the active farmer requirement.
EU regulations currently prevent member states from automatically making direct payments over €5,000 to specific types of businesses – known as the negative list. This includes claimants who operate permanent sporting and recreational grounds and other services such as railways or airports. Safeguards continue to be in place to ensure funds go to active farmers.
Announcing the change, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“I have made no secret of my belief that current CAP rules are too prescriptive, often place excessive administrative burdens on our farmers, and do not allow for enough flexibility at a local level.
“That is why I have taken the decision to allow for the removal of the negative list, which will reduce the administrative burden on our farmers and crofters. Although the question will continue to feature in the 2018 Single Application Form, I want to be clear that we will not be assessing that element.
“This follows my decision to use the flexibility to retain the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme unchanged for 2018, and make changes to greening to ensure rules are less onerous for farmers.”

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