Call for Ministers to stop “dithering” on future agriculture support scheme

Iain Gray MSP has backed a colleague’s call for the Scottish government to stop “dithering” on setting out plans to support Scottish agriculture as the country deals with the fallout from Brexit.

The call comes after the Scottish Government gave a statement on the impact on Scotland’s rural economy of leaving the European Union – but failed once again to provide any details on what would replace the Common Agricultural Policy at the end of the transition period in 2024.

Responding in Parliament to the Scottish Government’s statement, Scottish Labour Rural Economy Spokesperson and South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth called on the Scottish Government to set out a framework for Scottish agriculture for the post-Brexit period.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Although farmers and crofters across Scotland are relieved that a catastrophic No Deal exit from the EU was avoided, the trade deal cobbled together falls short of what was needed and promised and leaves a huge amount of uncertainty. 

“East Lothian’s farmers need clarity from the Scottish Government on what support scheme will replace the Common Agriculture Policy from 2024.

“The UK and Scottish Governments must provide more answers on what progress is being made in the development of a set of common frameworks to protect the integrity of the UK-wide single market. 

“The rest of the UK is Scottish agriculture’s biggest market. It’s vital we ensure there is adequate consistency and alignment between nations, and that it is done sooner rather than later.”