The first skirmishes in what could be a long-running battle between Westminster and Edinburgh over agricultural powers have begun.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was quick to react to comments made by leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson, where she appeared to leave the door open for Westminster to make decisions about future payments to Scottish farmers.
In an interview with The Times, Mrs Davidson said: “For example, [on] help for farmers, is there a suggestion it is going to be funded on a regional basis?
“So does it come out of the Scottish Parliament’s budget and they have to levy additional taxation for that? Or are we assuming that is coming from the Treasury? If it does come from the Treasury, are we talking about where it is administrated?
“All these things are absolutely legitimate questions and they are questions we need to answer in quite a mature fashion about where it best lies.”
Ms Sturgeon said the remarks confirmed there would not just be a ‘power grab, but a cash grab too’, and called for clarification on whether the Scottish Government would get its ‘fair share’ of the money saved from EU contributions.
2/2 Suggestion here is that @scotgov wouldn’t get fair share of money UK saves by not paying EU contributions. Needs clarified.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon)
The new clash came as the Prime Minister, Theresa May, refused to give any assurances about agricultural powers going straight to Scotland after Brexit – instead seeming to prioritise the smooth functioning of the UK single market.
Angus Robertson, the SNP leader in Westminster, used Prime Minister’s questions to ask for a yes or no answer on whether all decisions about agriculture would be made at Holyrood.
Mrs May replied: “We are discussing with the devolved administrations the whole question of the UK framework and devolution of issues as they come back from Brussels.
“The overriding aim for everything we do when we make those decisions is to ensure we do not damage the important single market of the UK, a market which I remind the right hon. Gentleman is more important to Scotland than the EU is.”