Conservative Leadership Candidates Respond to Union’s Lobbying

Having written to the two remaining candidates in the race to become Prime Minister last week, NFU Scotland has now received responses from both Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP.

Both letters recognise NFU Scotland’s key Brexit concerns regarding future trade, standards, immigration and financial and policy support for agriculture and commit to work with NFU Scotland as the country moves on from the leadership campaign.

The responses come after President Andrew McCornick wrote personally to both candidates on 3 July.

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick commented: “NFU Scotland has vastly expanded its political profile since the EU referendum in 2016 as it strives to put members interests at the heart of the Brexit negotiations. These letters from the two candidates vying for the highest office in the land is testament to the intense lobbying that NFU Scotland has undertaken at all levels to get the message across to our politicians that agriculture matters.

“In my correspondence to the two candidates, I set out in no uncertain terms what it is our 8,500 members expect from the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

“A free and frictionless trading relationship with the EU after exit is essential, and the extremely high standards to which Scottish farmers and crofters produce their products must be upheld in any future free trade negotiation.

“The development of a fully funded agricultural policy that is properly targeted to the vastly different profiles of UK farming is the real prize of Brexit. We must agree a fair funding settlement across the UK that allows governments to implement policies which encourage agricultural businesses to enhance their productivity, environmental delivery, and profitability.

“Finally, the agri-food sector strongly relies on a non-UK workforce that undertakes essential manually skilled seasonal and permanent roles through the whole food chain. It is vital that the post-Brexit immigration system ensures the real needs of the agri-food labour market are met.

“I am pleased that both candidates have recognised these concerns in their letters to NFU Scotland and have committed to work with us as the country moves on from the leadership campaign. We are not aware of any other rural organisation in Scotland to have had this level of commitment from the contenders for Prime Minister.

“Whoever now wins the race to Number 10, what these letters provide us with is an unprecedented opportunity to engage with the very top of the UK Government as we enter this next era.”

Notes to Editors


Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Author: Ruth McClean

Date Published:

News Article No.: 97/19

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About The Author

Ruth McClean

Having worked in the communications and journalism industry for the last 11 years, NFU Scotland’s Communications Manager Ruth McClean understands the needs of journalists and has extensive knowledge of the wider agricultural industry. After growing up in Argyll and Bute and working in the area as a reporter for local newspapers for eight years, Ruth joined NFU Scotland in 2013 in her current role. She is also Editor of the Union’s membership magazine the Scottish Farming Leader.

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