Brexit push for NFUS in 2017

NFU Scotland is fully committed to securing the best deal possible for Scottish food and farming from Brexit negotiations.
The UK is only three months away from Article 50 being triggered, and with the Brexit process officially commencing in March, the months and years ahead will be pivotal for the success of the Scottish agricultural sector.
The Union has been very much on the front foot on Brexit matters.  It has already prepared and published two ‘Beyond Brexit’ discussion documents.  Recent political engagement at a UK level has included meetings with David Jones, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the EU; Defra Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom and Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell. At a Scottish level, the Union will meet today (14 December) with Brexit Minister Mike Russell to build on a programme of winter meetings which has already seen the Union sit down with many Scottish MPs, MSPs and MEPs in recent weeks to discuss its Brexit priorities.
To assist and inform the Scottish negotiation process, NFU Scotland has agreed for its Director of Policy Jonnie Hall take up a secondment with Scottish Government. The secondment will see Jonnie spend two days a week working alongside the Scottish Government’s team dealing with agricultural and environmental aspects of Brexit negotiations.
NFU Scotland’s President Allan Bowie said: “Brexit presents the biggest challenge to NFUS in its 104-year history but, in terms of engagement and preparation, we are already well and truly on the front foot.
“Recognising that the UK Government has a huge workload to complete in a relatively short space of time, it was vital that political engagement at all levels got underway as a matter of urgency.
“The key areas for next year will see us focus on future agricultural policy, the importance of access to non-UK staff and the future trading arrangements that we will have with Europe and the rest of the world.
“On the movement of people, getting a good deal that allows access to non-UK labour is essential to farming as well as the ongoing success of Scotland’s food and drinks industry.  We are building cross-industry consensus to ensure that the UK Government hears from all parts of the supply chain about the importance of this issue.
“The historic letter sent recently to both Scotland’s First Minister and the Prime Minister, and signed by 75 leading companies and organisations – responsible for almost one million employees and £92 billion of trade – shows the importance of securing the right deal for farmers, processors and retailers.
“Regarding the future trading arrangements with Europe, access to the European market and any tariffs and regulatory non-tariff barriers that may apply are a key negotiating area. The outcome will ultimately influence the future shape of domestic agricultural support.
“If we are to secure the very best deal for Scotland, it is crucial that those involved in negotiations are of the highest calibre.
“Scottish agriculture needs people at the heart of Brexit talks who have a real depth of experience and knowledge.  It is in the best interests of the whole Scottish agricultural sector that Jonnie Hall forms part of the team looking at securing the best outcome for farming from Brexit and setting future agricultural policy.” 
Notes to Editors
NFU Scotland’s ‘Beyond Brexit’ discussion documents on trade options and a future policy framework for Scottish agriculture following the UK’s exit from the EU can be found online at: and
NFU Scotland’s Director of Policy Jonnie Hall has been involved with agricultural and rural policy for more than 30 years.  He is a graduate of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (BSc. Honours in Agricultural Economics and an M.Phil. in agricultural policy research) and Oxford University (MSc. in Agricultural Economics).    Following an academic and consultancy career, Jonnie joined what was the Scottish Landowners’ Federation in January 1998, leading their policy work on agriculture and land use issues.  Jonnie then joined NFU Scotland in May 2007, and has overall responsibility for the policy work of NFU Scotland as Director of Policy.  He has served on all key rural and agricultural policy stakeholder groups. 
A photograph of Jonnie Hall is available on request from 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 268/16

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