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Farming talks

Published: 24 Aug 2016 10:04

Rural Secretary meets industry representatives.

Rural Affairs and Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing is to meet industry representatives tomorrow (25 August 2016) to hear directly views on Scotland's place in Europe and other issues of importance to the industry ahead of his Statement to Parliament in September.

The meeting comes a week after Mr Ewing called on the UK Government to extend their EU funding guarantee to cover the outstanding £360 million that is vital to the Rural Economy.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Ewing said;

"The EU provides significant benefits to Scotland's rural communities. It provides a critical support mechanism for the agricultural industry, while also offering access to a single market of over 500 million people for the food we produce. The EU also provides social protections for everyone who works in the agricultural industry and freedom of movement that enables farm businesses to employ the workers they need from anywhere in the EU. That is why the Scottish Government is exploring all options to protect our place in Europe.

"I know that the industry is particularly concerned about what Brexit means for future CAP payments and wider industry support. I share their concerns. The UK Government has not done nearly enough to provide the clarity and certainty the farming sector needs. I again call on them to extend the funding guarantee to include the outstanding £360 million that is vital to Scotland's rural economy.

"The meeting is another opportunity for me to again hear the thoughts of industry on key interests which we share and challenges that we collectively face and how we could address these in moving the industry forward."