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Protecting Scottish farmers

Published: 6 Mar 2017 00:01

Rural Secretary fighting for best deal for industry.

The Scottish Government will fight for the best deal for Scottish farmers in the face of Brexit, Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing has said ahead of today’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting.

Mr Ewing will attend the Council talks in Brussels, which represents the first opportunity for member states ministers to have an exchange of views on the EU Commission’s proposals for the future of the Common Agricultural Policy since its publication earlier this year.

Speaking ahead of the meeting he urged the UK Government to protect Scottish farmers interests and relationship with the EU as they continue to face damaging uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Mr Ewing said:

“Farmers are facing considerable uncertainty following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. The UK Government remains unwilling or unable to provide much needed long-term clarity over a wide range of fundamental issues that affect the sector, including future access to the single market and seasonal workers that are vital to the sectors sustainability. With the imminent triggering of Article 50 it is essential that Scotland, farming and fishing issues are at the heart of future discussions.

“I am therefore determined to ensure that Scotland’s agricultural industry gets the best possible deal and am pushing the UK Government to ensure that it works in the best interests of all farmers wherever they might farm across the UK.

“In the meantime, this government will continue to participate in and engage fully with the EU on agriculture and fishing matters which affect us.  That is the responsible thing to do and it is important that EU member states know that Scotland still wants to play its part.”