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Scottish Land & Estates presses the case for Scotland’s rural business in Westminster talks

The future of Scottish land management after Brexit has been discussed in a meeting at Westminster between Scottish Land & Estates and Scottish Conservative MPs.

Following on from a meeting held last month with David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates pressed the need for Westminster and Holyrood governments to continue to work together to deliver the best outcome for Scottish agriculture and rural areas.

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We believe there has been some progress between the UK and Scottish Governments on the principles to underpin the transfer of powers back from the European and this has to be welcomed.

“In the coming months, there is a clear desire to see more detail on how Westminster and Holyrood can work together in order that agricultural trade, support and regulation are equitable throughout the UK. Time is moving quickly, and we need to develop the specific detail of what our land is expected to deliver over future decades and what support framework and funding will underpin that.

“We are pleased with the positive engagement we received from politicians and the acknowledgement that the conclusions that are reached over the next 18 months will have huge implications on the development of rural Scotland in decades to come.”

Scottish Land & Estates also welcomed news that the ‘convergence uplift’ payment was likely to be reviewed by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Mr Johnstone added: “Scottish farming, the Scottish Government and politicians from across the political spectrum have been united in seeking a review of the convergence uplift funding. The news that Mr Gove is likely to look at this issue in more detail, following an appeal by Alister Jack MP and other Conservative members, is greatly welcomed. There is a unique set of circumstances for agriculture in Scotland, which qualifies the UK as a whole for this payment, and it is only reasonable that Scotland receives the additional support it needs to address the challenges the sector faces.”

The organisation also said that a trade deal with the EU would provide greater stability for agricultural markets and reiterated the message contained in its New Direction policy paper that effort was needed to make farming businesses more profitable as well as the proposed transition towards financial support being provided in return for public goods delivered.

 

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