The Rural Policy Cross Party Group met on Wednesday evening in Parliament to discuss the implications of Brexit on the countryside. Senior Policy Officer, Land Use and Environment, Anne Gray, attended and was able to ask MSPs for their thoughts on the case for funding for farming, forestry and rural development post-Brexit.
A mix of views were expressed although all MSPs that attend the Group were clear that they saw continued funding after CAP as essential. Indeed, Graeme Dey, MSP pointed out that it was perhaps not the Scottish Parliament that needed to hear the case but rather the general public who needed to understand the value to them of supported agriculture.
Speakers at the meeting included Caroline Warburton representing the rural tourism sector, CoSLA discussing rural demographics and extent of reliance on foreign works in various sectors and Anderson Strathern who gave a very comprehensive summary of farming and forestry in relation to leaving the EU.