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Union Taking Views for Submission to Smith Commission

NFUS seeks input from members by end of October

NFU Scotland is meeting its members around the country as it prepares to put forward its submission to the Smith Commission on further devolution.

Following the ‘No’ vote in the referendum on Scottish independence on 18 September, the UK government appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to chair a commission that will oversee the devolution of further powers to Scotland.

The Smith Commission is working to a tight schedule. Its key role is to convene cross-party talks and facilitate engagement amongst civil society and the wider public in Scotland to seek consensus on the shape of future powers to Scotland. It aims to publish the results of this wide-ranging consultation with a set of proposals in a White Paper by 30 November, with draft clauses laid down in a new draft Scotland Bill by 25 January.

As part of this process, NFU Scotland has been invited to submit evidence by the end of October.

The Union has already hosted a number of round-the-table meetings with representatives throughout Scotland, chaired by President Nigel Miller with the Union’s Parliamentary Officer Clare Slipper in attendance.  Further meetings will be held over the next 10 to 12 days to gather a representative collection of views on this important issue. In particular NFU Scotland wants to know how members feel further devolution could help, or hinder, their family, business and community in years to come.

Clare Slipper, Parliamentary Officer at NFU Scotland commented:
“Speaking to members across the country prior to the referendum, it was very clear that there exists a vast range of views on how Scotland can be a better and more prosperous place to live, work and farm.

“Having been invited to submit a response to the Smith Commission, we feel that now is the time to talk with members about Scotland’s future governance within the UK – including whether further devolution is required and how we can use the powers we currently have more effectively for the benefit of rural Scotland.

“Our consultation looks at the various issues that came up time and again at our referendum engagement debates – such as EU representation, energy policy, and business incentives – and we are encouraged by the positive response we’ve had so far in the process.  If you are an NFU Scotland member and have thoughts on further devolution then I urge you to get in touch.”  

Note to editors:

  • Parliamentary Officer Clare Slipper and Union President Nigel Miller are available for interview. Please contact media@nfus.org.uk or call 0131 472 4108 if you would like to arrange an interview.
  • Members with views or comments on devolved matters can contact Clare on 0131 472 4182 or Email: clare.slipper@nfus.org.uk

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 164/14


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