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Brexit Trigger Must Spark Genuine Negotiations on Scotland’s Agricultural Future

Union committed to positive outcome for farming from Brexit

NFU Scotland has called for today’s historic triggering of Article 50, which will see the UK leave the European Union, to mark a start to genuine negotiations on the future of farming.

Since the outcome of the referendum on EU membership in June 2016, the Union has used the intervening months to build a positive case for Scotland’s farmers and crofters to be supported outside of the EU – via continued free trade with the EU; new, ambitious international trade deals; access to a non-UK labour pool and a well-funded, refreshed agricultural policy that fits the needs of Scotland’s unique landscape and farming practices.

It has also taken every opportunity to remind politicians that farming is the foundation stone of our nation’s lauded food and drink sector.  Farming, crofting, food and drink manufacturing, processing and distribution span more than 75,000 separate Scottish businesses and almost 400,000 Scottish jobs, justifying its place at the centre of Brexit negotiations.

NFU Scotland will hold further discussions with Scotland Office Minister Lord Dunlop on farm in the North-East tomorrow, having been in long standing dialogue with various UK departments since the outcome of the referendum.  

Speaking on this historic day, NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “Article 50 has now been triggered and the real negotiations will now start.  The time for posturing has passed.  Substance and detail on how agriculture will be prioritised in the negotiations ahead have, to date, been frustratingly sparse but this must now change.  Governments now need to deliver what our industry requires.

“In the nine months since the EU referendum outcome, NFUS has built a positive case seeking continued free trade with the EU; new, ambitious international trade deals; access to a non-UK labour pool and a well-funded, refreshed agricultural policy that fits our unique needs.

“On this historic day, we reiterate the importance of securing a deal that works for Scottish farmers and crofters, and point to the real opportunities that the right deal for agriculture could have on Scotland’s dynamic food and farming industries.

“We repeat our view that a ‘Defra-centric’ one-size-fits all agricultural approach for the whole of the UK would be wrong.

“Scotland should rightly determine the priorities for its own properly-funded agricultural policies and link together with the other parts of the United Kingdom on joint initiatives where appropriate and mutually beneficial.  The needs of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are very different and must be recognised throughout the remainder of this process

“It is also vital to ensure a marketplace which delivers for Scottish producers in the UK, Europe and globally.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 48/17


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