Farmers in the Scottish Borders are at risk of being left without any agriculture support post Brexit due to the Scottish Government’s failure to make any alternative plans.
Today in Westminster, legislation which provides the legal basis for providing financial support to farmers was debated.
UK Ministers offered to include provisions for the devolved administrations in the Agriculture Bill. Both the Welsh Government and the Department for Environment in Northern Ireland asked the UK Government to legislate, but the SNP refused, despite not having their own plan for post-Brexit farming policy.
The National Farming Union for Scotland (NFUS) has expressed concern that without any provision in this Bill, the Scottish Government “may not have any legal vehicle of delivering payments beyond 29 March 2019” and have urged the Scottish Government to take up the UK Government’s offer.
To date, no equivalent Scottish legislation has been announced and the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government for the next year includes no plans for an Agriculture Bill.
John Lamont MP said: “By rejecting this Bill without putting forward their own alternative, the SNP have shown they simply don’t care about rural Scotland – once again, it’s all about nationalist grievance.
“The Labour run Welsh Government are co-operating with the UK Government on this legislation because, despite political differences, they are not blinded by a separatist agenda.
“The Scottish Government have once again been found out on this issue. They are eager to criticise at every opportunity, but have failed to come up with their own alternative plan. Key stakeholders, including the National Farming Union for Scotland want to see the Scottish Government stop their posturing and work with Westminster.”
“Under the SNP, farmers in the Borders are being left in the dark about the future of farming support post Brexit.”