FOI reference: FOI/18/00222
Date received: 26 January 2018
Date responded: 16 February 2018
Email correspondence between Fergus Ewing and civil servants regarding changes to greening rules by the EU, between dates 1/1/16-25/2/18.
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested. Please note, text that does not relate to changes to greening rules by the EU has been redacted.
It is the Scottish Government's responsibility to respond to an information request within a 20 day period. As our deadline to respond to your request is 23 February 2018, information relating to the period after our response is due – 24 and 25 February – is not held by us at this time. Please also note that from January – May 2016, the responsibility for this area lay with the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment and we have therefore also looked for material between Mr Lochhead and officials during this period.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House