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Post-Brexit rural support discussed at inaugural roundtable event

The future of agriculture and rural development support, post-2020, has been discussed as a special roundtable event held in Edinburgh.

Organised by Scottish Land & Estates and Scottish Environment Link, a range of stakeholders including the Scottish Government, and organisations representing farming, land management, rural economy, environmental protection, forestry and landscape interests attended the meeting on Monday.

The event, held under Chatham House Rules, was aimed at “having an open and honest conversation on the various perspectives with a view to identifying common themes and differences.”

Consultant agricultural economist, Andrew Moxey, set the scene by outlining why Brexit matters for the rural land-based economy as well as detailing other factors which would lead to changes to rural support being required anyway. Dr Moxey also set out, in broad terms, where various major stakeholders are positioning themselves in the ongoing debate.

Anne Gray, Senior Policy Officer (Land Use & Environment), said: “We were pleased, alongside Scottish Environment Link, to organise what we hope will be the first of many roundtable events to discuss rural support in Scotland after Brexit.

“Each organisation is formulating their own thoughts on what they want to see rural Scotland deliver after Brexit and that obviously means there are different starting points for each stakeholder. The nature of the event allowed honest discussion to take place and establish where there are clear differences and where there is consensus that can be built upon moving forward.”

Pete Ritchie, Scottish Environment Link, said: "Everybody knows the CAP is no longer fit for purpose or sure of its purpose, but designing something for the post-2020 world which works better than the CAP for Scotland’s land, health, nature and rural economy is harder than it looks.  It has been very helpful to bring a wide range of stakeholders together to start that conversation.  LINK looks forward to continuing the conversation, building on common ground and exploring differences respectfully.  Thanks to all who took part."


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