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Busy Week in Holyrood and Westminster for NFUS

As Brexit draws ever nearer, NFU Scotland continues to build on its successful political engagement with officeholders and staff members set to appear in front of three influential parliamentary committees in the next week and hold another day of meetings with Westminster decision-makers.

Today (Wednesday 24 October), Director of Policy Jonnie Hall will give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee on policy frameworks after Brexit, before travelling to London to appear in front of the influential Committee of MPs who are scrutinising the UK Government’s Agriculture Bill on Thursday 25 October. These evidence sessions come ahead of another session which will be held in London next week (Tuesday 30 October) by the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, which is preparing a report on the future of agriculture in Scotland after Brexit.

In giving evidence to both parliaments, Mr Hall will outline the clear need for the future policy and financial framework that allows Scotland to design and implement a new agricultural policy well suited to the needs of Scottish agriculture. Central to this will be ensuring the UK and devolved governments can work together to secure the correct balance of powers and funding – and that future decisions are “agreed, and not imposed” by one singular part of the UK.

President Andrew McCornick will attend a conference with top European farming organisations on our future relations in the EU after Brexit on Thursday (25 October).
Whilst in London, the Union will also hold meetings with MPs from all the political parties to keep them informed of key priorities for the Agriculture Bill, and the ongoing EU exit negotiations regarding future trade with the EU, regulatory alignment and access to EU and non-EU workers.

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “The Brexit negotiations are now going to the wire and it is vital that NFU Scotland ramps up its political engagement to ensure that governments are left crystal clear about how important a good Brexit deal will be for Scottish farming, crofting and the wider food and drink industry. The political activities of the coming weeks are testament to the profile which NFU Scotland has worked hard to build amongst politicians of all parties, and the Scottish and UK governments, in the time since the referendum.

“On 24 June 2016, the day after the European referendum, NFU Scotland was first out of the blocks to outline its key priorities of maintaining free and frictionless trade with the EU; continued support for the sector; and access to non-UK workers. To this day these priorities remain.

“After nearly two and a half years since the Brexit referendum result, it is time to cut through the political noise and to inject certainty and confidence back into the sector. The constant politicking around ‘deal or no deal’ and the length of the transition period, as we saw last week, gives very little optimism to industry. NFU Scotland members feel it is their futures that are being gambled with.

“In my address to NFU Scotland’s Autumn Conference on Friday (26 October), this is the message I will be giving loud and clear.

“The Union will shortly be sending a leaflet to all NFU Scotland members outlining where we are in the Brexit negotiations, what still needs to be agreed and what NFU Scotland has been doing to get the best deal for Scottish farmers and crofters.

“Added to this, the top team at NFU Scotland will be out on the road in November, holding meetings up and down the country to consult members views on the future agricultural policy for Scotland that will be developed and implemented once we leave the EU, and the Common Agricultural Policy.

“NFU Scotland members should be left in no doubt that we will relentlessly push their interests until we get these issues over the line.”

Ends

Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4059

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 144/18


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