7 Oct 2018
The Agricultural Bill will begin its second reading in Parliament next week [Wednesday 10th October]. The SNP Government have still failed to produce any agricultural legislation on what post-Brexit farming policy will look like in Scotland.
The Scottish Conservatives have accused the SNP of leaving Scottish farmers in the dark for their lack of action on future farming support for Scottish agriculture and have called for the SNP Government to cast a light on their plans.
The U.K. Government offered to make provisions for the devolved administrations, creating a mirror framework to what is planned in England. Both the Welsh Government and Department for Environment in Northern Ireland have asked the U.K. Government to legislate on their behalf, but the SNP have refused despite not having their own plan for post-Brexit farming policy.
The Scottish Conservatives have decided to put forward their own plan and will publish draft amendments to the Agriculture Bill. These would allow the Agriculture Bill to have the same effect in Scotland as it does in Wales.
Commenting on behalf of the Scottish Conservatives, Luke Graham MP said:
“Scottish Conservatives are doing what the Scottish Government have failed to do, offering Scottish farmers a brighter future.
“Farmers need time and support to adapt to changes in agriculture policy. The SNP Government are providing a complete disservice to this vital sector in Scotland. They are abandoning farmers and have no policies for the future. At a time of record farm debt, our rural communities need certainty and support.
“By drafting these crucial amendments, we will set out a plan that would avoid rural Scotland being left in the dark.
“We have known since 23rd June 2016, that farming policy is going to change once we leave the European Union. The Scottish Government have had over 2 years to prepare and come up with a plan, but they have utterly failed to do so. It didn’t even get a mention in their Programme for Government.
“They have continually let farmers down through playing grievance politics instead of doing their job of governing for Scotland. We are urging the Scottish Government to endorse these amendments so they can deliver for Scottish farmers.”