NFUS has welcomed the passing of the Scottish Agriculture Bill as a ‘step forward’ towards post-Brexit stability.
The Bill, expected to receive Royal Assent shortly, allows Ministers to continue running the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) beyond this year, as well as providing opportunity for reforms and simplifications to the scheme.
It also improves the legal basis for collecting information about the agri-food supply chain and activities relating to agriculture.
As the Bill passed Stage 3 in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing urged the UK Government to make a ‘clear statement’ on future funding for all aspects of the CAP to provide reassurance to the rural economy.
NFUS president Andrew McCornick said: “This Bill provides much needed continuity and certainty.
“More importantly, it also establishes the necessary legal basis to modify and improve how farming and crofting are supported in Scotland.
“As the union highlighted earlier this year in its ‘Stability – The Platform for Change’ policy document, the powers created by the Bill must now be used to best effect.
“Continuity and improvement of existing measures is the first step. The Bill must then facilitate more significant steps to underpin and enhance all the market and non-market benefits which are reliant on active farming and crofting in Scotland.”