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What will happen to the Crown Estate in an independent Scotland?

The Crown Estate is currently administered by a UK body, the Crown Estate Commissioners, and the revenues flow to the UK Treasury. In an independent Scotland, the current Scottish Government plans that the assets of the Crown Estate better support local economic development and provide wider community benefit in Scotland. The current Scottish Government proposes to review the management of the Crown Estate and will consult on arrangements to enhance local control of assets including greater autonomy for the islands and ownership of the foreshore and local harbours. We plan to introduce community benefit associated with Scotland’s offshore renewable resource. This will deliver a direct benefit for communities across Scotland of at least half of the seabed leasing revenues and more in the islands.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect the support that Scottish farmers receive under Europe’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)?

As part of the UK, Scotland’s farmers receive the third lowest direct payment per hectare in the European Union. Independent member states have benefitted from the European Union’s principle that no member state should receive less than the minimum EU average payment rate of €196 per hectare. Had Scotland been an independent member state when the latest CAP round was agreed, this principle would have meant gaining an additional €1 billion of support between 2014 and 2020.

The following table shows how Scotland compares with EU member states before and after the recent CAP negotiations.

 

Table 1: Annual CAP Pillar 1 - Direct Payments per hectare - existing legislation and allocation for 2019.

Member State

Direct Payments
(Existing Legislation)
Per Hectare

2019 Direct Payments
Per Hectare

Malta €696 €640
Netherlands €457 €403
Belgium €435 €386
Italy €404 €363
Greece €384 €350
Cyprus €372 €338
Denmark €363 €332
Slovenia €325 €302
Germany €319 €298
France €296 €281
Luxembourg €275 €269
Ireland €271 €261
Austria €262 €253
Hungary €260 €251
Czech Republic €257 €249
Spain €229 €233
Finland €237 €230
Sweden €235 €229
Bulgaria €233 €228
United Kingdom €229 €225
Poland €215 €216
Slovakia €206 €210
Portugal €194 €205
Estonia €117 €196
Latvia €95 €196
Lithuania €144 €196
Romania €183 €196
Scotland €130 €128

 

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect support for rural development that businesses and communities receive through the CAP?

As part of the UK, Scotland currently receives the lowest level of rural development funding in Europe. This is because the Westminster Government does not prioritise this support in its negotiations with Europe.

With independence, Scotland will be able to negotiate for fairer allocations for rural development – similar to that achieved by many other member states. For example, despite Ireland having around 25 per cent of the agricultural land of the UK, it has successfully managed to negotiate an allocation of almost €2 billion for rural development – almost 85 per cent of the total allocation for the UK. Finland offers another example, having negotiated a €600 million uplift. This demonstrates what sovereign countries, similar in size to Scotland, can achieve within EU negotiations when they are able to reflect their own needs and priorities.

Independence will ensure that Scotland enters into the next set of CAP negotiations on an even footing with the rest of the members of the EU. The following table shows how Scotland compares with EU member states on rural development (CAP Pillar 2) payments before and after the recent CAP negotiations.

 

Table 2: Annual CAP Pillar 2 - payments for 2007/2013 and for 2014/2020

Member State

Average 2007/13 Rural
Development Funding
Per Hectare of Utilised
Agricultural Area Per
Annum

Average 2014/20 Rural
Development Funding
Per Hectare of Utilised
Agricultural Area Per
Annum

Malta €969 €1,236
Croatia - €249
Slovenia €271 €248
Austria €182 €178
Cyprus €205 €165
Greece €151 €163
Portugal €160 €160
Finland €134 €148
Slovakia €148 €141
Italy €100 €116
Luxembourg €103 €109
Estonia €109 €109
Poland €131 €107
Hungary €103 €92
Czech Republic €116 €88
Lithuania €91 €83
Sweden €91 €81
Romania €82 €81
Latvia €83 €77
EU 27/28 Average €76 €76
Germany €78 €70
Ireland €78 €69
Bulgaria €75 €66
Belgium €51 €58
Spain €48 €49
France €37 €48
Netherlands €45 €46
Denmark €31 €34
United Kingdom €20 €21
Scotland €11 €12

 

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to CAP payments to farmers in an independent Scotland?

With independence, farmers and crofters will continue to receive CAP payments – the budget is already set until 2020. But, crucially, with independence we will also have a direct voice in the negotiations on the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the transition to independence disrupt CAP payments to farmers?

No. The administration of payments for the CAP is already conducted by the Scottish Government. As the European Commission pays CAP payments in arrears, the Scottish Government plans that an independent Scotland will underwrite payments to farmers, as Westminster does today, ensuring a smooth transition for Scottish farmers.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will an independent Scotland’s interests be prioritised at the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries?

Independence will give Scotland its own voice in Europe, participating at every level in the EU policy process and ensuring the Scottish Government is able to promote and protect Scotland’s national interests in EU affairs. Fishing and agriculture are important sectors of the Scottish economy and will be priority areas for negotiation in the EU.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will Scotland’s fishing quotas be determined following independence?

Following a vote for independence, the Scottish Government will enter into negotiations with the rest of the UK and with the EU institutions to fully define our fishing rights and other key issues. At present, Scotland’s fishing opportunities are provided for in a concordat among the UK nations, which gives Scotland a share of UK quotas. It will be in the interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK to agree an appropriate and fair set of final allocations so that the normal fishing practices of each nation can continue unaffected.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the management of Scotland’s quotas be any different in an independent Scotland?

Independence will stop Scottish-held quotas being permanently transferred out of Scotland to other parts of the UK. This is because EU rules do not allow permanent transfers of this nature from one member state to another. An independent Scotland will therefore be able to retain its quotas for the benefit of its own fishermen.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will Scottish fishing fleets still be able to declare their catch in England?

Yes. Fishing vessels often land their catch in different countries and independence will make no difference to this.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will vessels from other EU Member States, including the rest of the UK, still be able to fish in Scottish waters and vice versa?

Beyond 12 nautical miles, the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy provides any member state’s vessels with access to all member states’ waters. However they can only fish in waters where they have fishing opportunities.

Within 12 nautical miles, we would expect to agree with other member states that vessels from other member states (including the rest of the UK) with historic fishing rights should be able to continue fishing in Scottish waters, and vice versa.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect Scotland’s relationship with the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)?

As an independent member state, Scotland will be negotiating as one of the foremost and most respected fishing nations in Europe. This status will give Scotland the opportunity to take a leadership role in driving reforms to the CFP and in negotiating annual fishing opportunities within the framework of the CFP. The government of an independent Scotland will be able to negotiate unequivocally for Scottish priorities without having to dilute these in order to suit wider UK objectives.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What impact will independence have on the ability of Scottish food and drink producers to sell their produce to a UK market?

The same opportunities will exist before and after independence. Consumers elsewhere in the UK will continue to be attracted by the world-class quality of Scottish produce. By sharing Sterling with the rest of the UK, trade will continue to be underpinned by a common currency. Scotland’s status as an independent member of the European Union will ensure free movement of goods, people and services and avoid any barriers to trade with the rest of the UK or European markets.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.