Union in Westminster on Post-Brexit Needs for Scottish Farming

NFUS delegation meets main political parties

In the week that the UK Government’s flagship European Union (Withdrawal) Bill passed one of its first hurdles in the House of Commons, NFU Scotland has returned to Westminster to meet with cross-party MPs and press the needs of Scottish agriculture from the Brexit negotiations.

In a day of back-to-back meetings with MPs from across the political spectrum, NFUS President, Andrew McCornick; Director of Policy, Jonnie Hall and Political Affairs Manager, Clare Slipper, discussed what a ‘good deal’ for Scottish food producers would look like. 

NFU Scotland stressed the case for a sensible approach to “controlled immigration”, which allows Scottish agriculture and food processing industries access to EU workers for seasonal and permanent, skilled and competent labour.

They also pressed on a re-drawn agricultural policy for Scotland post-Brexit with a ringfenced budget and flexibilities to allow the Scottish Government to develop a sensible and suitable policy that fits all Scottish agriculture. 

Discussions on post-Brexit legislative changes were also discussed with MPs ahead of the Union’s document ‘Post-Brexit Priorities for Legislative CHANGE’ being launched next week.

NFU Scotland’s President Andrew McCornick said: “There is no doubt that Brexit represents one of the biggest challenges to the farming and crofting sectors.

“Today’s meetings build on discussions that we’ve been having with MPs since June last year on the need to secure sensible trade agreements, continuity in labour supply, and a new agricultural policy post-Brexit to secure the future of our industry.

“However, Brexit also presents a new and important opportunity to replace elements of EU agricultural regulation that are bureaucratic, ineffective or ill-tailored to farming conditions in the UK and Scotland. And it was good to start a dialogue with MPs on these issues ahead of our document launch next week.

“Today’s meetings represent NFUS entering the next phase of its engagement on Brexit as it identifies areas of regulation which we want policy-makers to redress soon after the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill takes effect after EU exit day.

“NFUS welcomes the positive reception it received from parliamentarians of all parties in discussing these vital issues on behalf of its members, and will revisit Westminster within the month to continue these important discussions.”  Ends

Notes to Editors
  • The NFU Scotland delegation of President Andrew McCornick, Director of Policy Jonnie Hall and Political Affairs Manager Clare Slipper met with the following parliamentarians at Westminster today (13 September):
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats: Alistair Carmichael (speaking for the party on agriculture and rural affairs issues).
  • Scottish Conservatives: Luke Graham, David Duguid, Bill Grant; Colin Clark; Stephen Kerr.
  • Conservative MP (and Chairman of the EFRA Committee) Neil Parish MP.
  • SNP: Angus MacNeil MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
  • Scottish Labour: Lesley Laird MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland)
  • NFU Scotland will launch its document ‘Post-Brexit Priorities for Legislative Change’ at Tillyrie Farm, Milnathort, Kinross (by kind permission of Mark Thomson) on Tuesday 19 September at 10.30am.  If media would like to attend contact 

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006.

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 134/17

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