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Farmers better off in EU - NFU Scotland

The benefits of staying in the EU outweigh the gains of Brexit, according to NFU Scotland, which also has advice for farmers wishing to visit the Royal Highland Show and vote in the EU referendum on the same day.
Scottish farmers are better off in Europe, says NFU Scotland
Scottish farmers are better off in Europe, says NFU Scotland

NFU Scotland has reiterated its support for the campaign to remain in the EU, ahead of the June 23 Referendum.

 

The union has also urged farmers to plan ahead for the referendum, which falls on the same days as the Royal Highland Show, suggesting visitors to the flagship event consider postal votes.

 

NFUS said it looked forward to a ’full and frank discussion’ on what the implications of the vote for Scotland’s ’crucial food and farming sectors’.

 

It said: "NFU Scotland currently believes that, for farm businesses, the overall benefits of staying in the European Union (EU) currently outweigh any advantages businesses would gain from leaving the EU."

 

The union previously outlined its position on the referendum when its representatives gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee in December.

 

NFUS Parliamentary Officer Clare Slipper said: “Now that a date is in the diary, we look forward to a constructive and informed debate from both sides.

 

“Farmers have a long-established appreciation of what EU membership brings in terms of public support through Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy and market access for our produce.

Contingency plans

"However, the coming weeks must establish what the contingency plans are for Scottish and UK agriculture if we were to leave the EU.

 

“Farmers would prefer to farm without the financial support they receive from the EU.

 

"But the reality is that the marketplace is failing to deliver fair returns and the CAP – set up to deliver food security, environmental and economic benefits – has become more vital to all European farmers in the current volatile times.

 

"In the event of ‘Brexit’, what level of support could farmers and crofters expect domestically?

 

“Access to the European single market, which allows tariff-free trade amongst all member states and European trade agreements opened with international partners in recent years are also of great importance to Scotland’s food and drink industry, which had an export value of £5.1 billion in 2014.

Trading arrangements

“For farmers to vote to leave the European Union, they need to know what the trading arrangements with the rest of Europe would be – would Scotland be able to continue to trade tariff-free with Europe or would our lamb, beef and other key farm exports face a tariff barrier?

 

"Would access to important overseas markets remain or would the UK have to start over again in negotiations?"

 

She added: "The vote will be held on Thursday June 23, the opening day of the Highland Show at Ingliston and Scotland’s biggest food and farming showcase.

 

"For those planning to head to the Highland, we urge them to consider setting up a postal vote.”


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