Jim Walker, former NFU Scotland and Quality Meat Scotland chairman is to represent Scottish interests in the long awaited review into what is known as ‘internal convergence’.
Much of the controversy over this issue stems back to 2013 when €230m (£190m) of EU money was allocated by the EU to the UK to bring farm payments up to the average across all member states.
Scottish farming leaders and Scottish government expected it all to come to Scotland where area payments are considerably lower than anywhere else in Europe.
Instead, the funds were spread thinly across the whole of the UK, leaving Scots with a burning sense of grievance.
Defra Secretary Michael Gove has however decided to only to look at the future intra UK funding allocations.
It is unlikely that these terms of reference will go unchallenged by the devolved administrations with Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Fergus Ewing angrily accusing Mr Gove of ‘watering down’ the previously agreed remit.
Mr Walker, a beef and sheep farmer from near Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, is known as a combative figure and is unlikely to let the past slip into obscurity while he argues for a fairer allocation of funds going forward.
Mr Ewing said: “I am delighted that Mr Walker has agreed to my request to represent Scotland’s interests on the long promised review into convergence funding.
“Jim’s wealth of knowledge and sectorial experience made him the obvious choice for the Scottish government to recommend.
“Having pushed the UK government into finally holding this review, it is important that the panel has access to all available information and that it is free from Government to make recommendations about what action could be considered in order to address concerns about the past issues of funding allocations, which saw Scottish hill farmers denied around £190 million – the equivalent of £14,000 each over a six year period.”