Sir, – Hoorah for Mr Gove and hoorah for Mr Mundell. Two reasonably intelligent people who have come out and said that the Barnett Formula should not be applied to future agricultural funding. But why would it? It never has in the past and neither should it.

As things stand, Scotland has one of the lowest farm support systems in the European Union. Brexit should provide our politicians with the opportunity to put Scotland on a level playing field with the rest of the UK and there are two very good reasons why this needs to be done.

Firstly, Messrs Gove and Mundell need to recognise that much of the food farmers produce in Scotland feeds the UK nation as a whole, not just people living in Scotland. Much of what we grow is processed outside Scotland and eaten outside Scotland.

UK politicians have the luxury that the people who vote for them use a smaller percentage of their wage than any other country in the EU to buy food, most of it at less than cost of production. They pay for that luxury in the way of subsidies raised through the tax system, but at the same time want to reduce that tax burden without understanding or caring what the consequences would be.

Already, we are seeing land abandonment in the most remote areas of our countryside and in the more productive areas land is moving away from food production and into supplying energy. Furthermore, Scotland’s policy to cover vast tracts of our landscape in trees is very popular, taking land out of food production indefinitely.

Farmers across the UK should be operating to the same level of funding and on a level playing field. Scottish farmers for years have been forced to kick the ball at goal posts that are at the top of a pretty steep hill as far as I can see.

Although I have never been a Brexiteer, Brexit must provide the opportunity to see this inequality removed once and for all.

Secondly, the farm subsidy system does not recognise that the infrastructure of Scotland adds to the difficulties of farmers getting their produce to the point of consumption, so I would hope that Lord Bew’s review might possibly take this into account as well. I won’t hold my breath.

In the government’s press release announcing Lord Bew’s review, David Mundell said: “I urge the Scottish Government to stop keeping them [Scottish farmers] in the dark about its plans for the future of agriculture in Scotland.”

It is my opinion that Scottish Government don’t have a plan. Since Fergus Ewing took over from Richard Lochhead there has been a distinct lack of direction from Scottish Government towards farming as borne out by their total lack of response from to put something in place to replace the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme.

At least the Pack Report showed that there was some interest from Scottish Government. At this moment in time, the silence is deafening.

I urge all our politicians to take farming and food production seriously, more importantly they need to take food security seriously. It is absolute folly to rely on farmers from across the other side of the world to supply us with our food at a time when world leaders, like Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping, are vying for dominance in the world.

Only this week, Trump has shredded the treaty limiting nuclear weapons in Russia and America without offering an alternative to that treaty.

Hamish Waugh