Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is encouraging farmers to share their views on the future of rural funding in the event of Brexit.
The First Minister, who is attending Turriff Show in Aberdeenshire today, maintains that Scotland’s interests are best served by the UK remaining in the EU. In the event of Brexit happening, however, she wants the UK to remain in the single market and customs union.
In this context, the Scottish Government launched a consultation in June which set out proposals to ‘stabilise and simplify income support for rural communities in Scotland during the period immediately after Brexit’. The consultation closes on August 15.
“The rural economy is vital to Scotland’s economic prosperity but Brexit remains the biggest threat to the industry and our interests are best served by remaining within the EU or Single Market and Customs Union,” said the First Minister, prior to travelling to Turriff.
“Scotland’s farmers and rural communities receive valuable support from the EU and, in the absence of any clarity from the UK Government on future funding, the Scottish Government has published the most comprehensive Brexit paper on farming anywhere in the UK.
“The paper proposes that in the short term support schemes for active farming, food production, environmental improvements, forestry and rural development fundamentally stay largely the same. However, we are also looking at whether processes can be simplified and streamlined and what farmers think the longer term direction of travel should be.
“It is important we hear directly from those working in the rural sector so we can support them through the transition period after the UK leaves the EU so I would encourage those who will be affected to respond before the (consultation) deadline.”