European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Impact assessments (7 Feb 2017)

Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

Scotland is already losing out on more than £230 million of EU funding that was supposed to go to Scottish farmers. The UK Government promised a review in 2016, but they have not carried it out. It is critical that we have an impact assessment that tells Scottish farmers what will happen so that they can plan for their future.

Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development) 8:15 pm, 7th February 2017

There is absolutely no certainty for Scotland’s farmers, or indeed for farmers across the whole United Kingdom. During the EU referendum campaign, the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, made it clear that there would be a guarantee of capital and funding beyond 2020. Then, at the Oxford farming conference last month, the current Secretary of State completely changed her tune. Such confusing and contradictory comments about the long-term future show precisely why we need the Government to spell it out in far more detail than they have in the White Paper. Of course, we particularly want to know whether the agriculture powers currently exercised by the European Union will come to the Scottish Parliament. The principle is clear in the Scotland Act 1998: if something is not reserved, it is devolved. Therefore, everything that the EU is currently doing on this should go to the Scottish Parliament.