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Union in Westminster Ahead of Prime Ministerial Announcement

Cross-party MPs hear of key asks from farmers and crofters

One week from the appointment of a new Prime Minister, NFU Scotland has returned to London to reaffirm its key asks of the new leader and Westminster.

Over two days (Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 July), NFU Scotland’s Director of Policy Jonnie Hall and Political Affairs Manager Clare Slipper met with cross-party Scottish MPs from Labour, the Conservatives, SNP and Liberal Democrats.

Top of the agenda was reminding all MPs about the danger of a ‘no deal’ being inflicted on the agricultural industry.

The Union stressed to MPs that the imposition of export tariffs on the sheep sector under a ‘no deal’ scenario would wreak havoc, while the removal of tariffs on certain imports could also inflict severe harm on sectors of the industry, including cereals, potatoes, horticulture and eggs.

With the UK Parliament in paralysis, necessary progress on key legislation such as the Agriculture Bill has not been made and NFUS also met Defra officials to discuss this Bill.  NFUS is strongly advocating for provisions to be inserted within the Bill that will ensure that high domestic standards of production are met in the negotiation of any future trade deals, and for UK Government to commit to ringfenced and multiannual budget cycles for future agricultural funding.

Having heard from the two contenders in the race for Number 10 in direct correspondence last week (https://www.nfus.org.uk/news/news/conservative-leadership-candidates-respond-to-unions-lobbying), NFUS pointed to commitments made by both candidates on future funding for the sector, ahead of the widely anticipated publication of Lord Bew’s independent review commissioned by UK Government into intra-UK allocations of funding.

While in London, Mr Hall also participated in a ‘Future of Farming’ conference, specifically discussing the potential impact of the Agriculture Bill on Scottish farming.

Speaking after the conference and political meetings, Jonnie Hall said: “It is vital for the future of Scottish farming and crofting that we quickly cut a way through the current complexity and uncertainty perpetuated by the ongoing political race to Number 10.

“As shown in NFUS’ Brexit survey results published last month, uncertainty is crippling confidence within the sector at present and NFUS is pushing very hard to get agriculture to be top of the agenda when the new PM is appointed.”  

Notes to Editors


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 101/19


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