NFU Scotland says enough is enough, Brexit decisions are needed now
Speaking at last week’s NFU Scotland autumn conference president, Andrew McCornick, said: “Solid outcomes determined now will define the successful future for Scotland’s farmers, producers and crofters post Brexit.”
He added: “We are at the end of yet another very turbulent week for UK politics and still we await resolution to Brexit. Our
members remain rightly frustrated by a lack of clarity and need real answers from Governments in Westminster, Holyrood and Brussels.
“We’ve recently seen tariff increases threaten our world class produce, and the possibility that, under the proposed ‘no deal’ tariff schedule, our market will become easier for importers to access. There are market prices drop in the milk, cereal and beef sectors and damaging reduction in labour from overseas, placing many farm and food business under threat.
“While some new market opportunities have presented themselves and we have welcomed the promise of the £160million convergence money, this is nothing in comparison to the challenges we continue to face across the agriculture sector as a whole.”
MrCornick was speaking to a packed audience which include keynote speakers parliamentary under secretary of state for Scotland, Colin Clark MP, cabinet secretary for government business and constitutional relations, Michael Russell MSP and Maeve Whyte, director of the joint UK Union’s office in Brussels.
He continued: “Enough is enough. It’s time to stop waiting to make decisions and let’s make them happen. It’s the big issues that will define the successful future of agriculture in Scotland. We need to get rid of this vacuum of uncertainty and focus on getting it right for our future success. We need clear decisions about our future trading arrangements, agricultural policy and support scheme.
“We need to have defined trading arrangements that are backed up with supply chains that enhance, not hinder, our producers and growers and vice-versa. We need an agricultural policy that connects farming and supply chains, is functional, inclusive, supports marginal farms and supports production.
“I believe that if we had actual decisions made now it would provide us with the confidence to move forward, drive innovation and efficiency and build our businesses for the benefit of Scottish farming and the general public.
“Throughout the entire Brexit Process NFUS has grown in stature and membership, as an effective, trusted and influential lobbying body and I am incredibly proud of the work we do as elected representatives and Professional staff for and on behalf of our members.”