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Scottish calls for post-referendum security

Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing is calling for the UK Government to give farmers certainty about the future following the EU referendum. 


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Scottish calls for post-referendum security #brexit

Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing is calling for the UK Government to give farmers certainty about the future following the EU referendum. He has written a series of letters to Defra and the Treasury asking ministers for a range of guarantees, including:

 

  • Confirmation that the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) in 2017 will continue as normal.
  • Confirmation that applications under the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme, for which contracts usually start in January 2016, will be honoured in full by the Treasury, even if the contracts may not all have been issued and confirmed before the Autumn Statement.
  • Clarity on when and how Defra intends to take forward the recommendations of the Red Meat Levy Forum.
  • Clarity on whether the Treasury has agreed to extend its EU funding guarantee to cover the outstanding £360 million Pillar 2 and EMFF funding.

 

He said:

 

“I am concerned the UK Government is neglecting the day job and I am concerned about the impact this may have on the rural economy. There are a range of domestic farming and food related decisions that, since the EU referendum, are sitting with UK ministers, which if made, I believe, could provide much needed certainty and clarity to our rural communities.”

 

NFU Scotland is also urging MPs in Westminster to ensure farmers have access to European and global markets, as well as non-UK labour. Other key asks from NFUS include continuity of agricultural support and recognition of the provenance of Scottish produce.

 

Allan Bowie, President of NFU Scotland commented:

 

“The referendum result brings into sharp focus the interests that agriculture has always held in the EU in relation to trade, support and the movement of labour. With nearly 40 per cent of the EU budget currently going towards agriculture, and tariff-free trade providing important markets for Scottish produce, the interests of Scotland’s farmers and crofters in the Brexit negotiation must be recognised.”


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