The Prime Minister may have ruled out Brexit negotiations this year but NFU Scotland is pressing ahead with its lobbying on how it would like to see farming treated in the new non-EU world.
Yesterday, the union published two discussion documents that will be used by its 8,500 members as well as informing politicians north and south of the Border of farming priorities and concerns.
Commenting on the documents, union president Allan Bowie said: “A big fear of many farmers and crofters is the combination of fast removal of direct payments, while much if not all of existing regulation remains, combined with limited market access and more exposure to cheaper imports.
“The very anticipation of this scenario is sufficient justification for government to step in and provide confidence and reassurance to producers.”
Bowie did not think the whole tone of the shift in trade needed to be downbeat. “There are opportunities – to grow exports and promote the fantastic ‘brand Scotland’ in overseas markets, stronger food labelling, and a support system which properly addresses activity, maximises opportunities for new entrants and delivers a range of public goods.”
The documents will form the basis of discussion at branch and regional meetings in the coming months, with all members encouraged to submit their views.
The union will also take the documents to MPs at Westminster next week as it hosts a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons.