SCOTS children and young people will continue accessing subsidised milk in school when the UK leaves the European Union, despite EU funding being ended.

Following the UK's decision to leave the European Union, local authorities in Scotland can no longer receive funding under the EU school milk scheme to subsidise their own local schemes for pupils.

The Scottish Government says it has pressed the UK Government to make up the shortfall, but so far, no commitment has been made from Westminster. Around two-thirds of Scotland’s 32 local authorities received funding from the scheme.

A total of £722,000 has been committed by the Scottish Government to allow the scheme to continue for this school year.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Offering milk in schools provides an excellent source of nutrients for young people and helps to set up healthy eating habits.

“The withdrawal of the EU scheme threatens the ability of local authorities to provide subsidised milk in schools, running the risk that children and young people will miss out. It is another example of the detrimental financial impact of leaving the EU.

“We will continue to press the UK Government to make up the shortfall, but parents and local authorities can be assured we will not allow the school milk scheme to be lost.”

Amy Woodhouse, head of policy, projects and participation at charity Children in Scotland, added: "We are delighted that the Scottish Government will provide financial support to continue the provision of subsidised milk in schools.

“Children in Scotland recognises that the health consequences for children and young people of food poverty and poor diet are considerable. In such a difficult year, when many families are facing enormous financial pressures, this small but important step, alongside recent free school meal announcements, will help to protect children's health and wellbeing during a time of increased vulnerability.''