SNP accused of ‘leaving farmers in the dark’ over Brexit

Framing is a key post-Brexit battleground. Picture: Michael Gillen
Framing is a key post-Brexit battleground. Picture: Michael Gillen
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The SNP Government was accused by political opponents of leaving farmers in the dark over a perceived lack of clarity relating to plans for the end of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Conservative politicians slammed the SNP for rejecting an offer by Environment Secretary Michael Gove to extend powers to the Scottish Parliament contained in a UK Government ‘Agriculture Bill’.

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Farming is a devolved area, but the UK bill could provide devolved Governments the opportunity with frameworks for a new farm subsidy process, which will be required once Britain leaves the EU.

The Welsh Government in Cardiff have consented to the UK Government legislating on their behalf to allow a new regime to be created, something that the Scottish Government refused to do.

This means the SNP will need to pass a separate bill in Holyrood to create a new subsidy programme.

Brexit Secretary Michael Russell told the Scottish Parliament that nearly 200 pieces of legislation will need to be passed as Britain leaves the EU.

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Colin Clark, the Tory MP for Gordon i, said: “The UK Government is bringing forward a Bill to ensure farming support can be put in place after the end of 2020.

“But farmers in Scotland are being left in the dark because the SNP are refusing to extend the Bill north of the Border.”

He added that farmers need reassurance about the future support they will receive as a “matter of urgency”.