SLE urges the Scottish Parliament for more ambitious farming policy

SLE urges the Scottish Parliament for more ambitious farming policy

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Press Release

Now is the time for bold and ambitious leadership to set out a long-term plan for Scottish agriculture that benefits everyone says Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), the organisation which represents landowners and rural businesses.

After a delay of several months, the Scottish Parliament yesterday held their Stage 1 debate on the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill and voted to progress the Bill to Stage 2.

Ahead of yesterday’s debate, Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) contacted all MSPs to set out our support for the general principles of the Bill and the vital importance of a smooth transition away from the EU-led Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, while a sensible and careful approach to leaving the control of the CAP is to be applauded, the value of this smooth transition can only be realised if the sector receives greater detail on post-2024 policy ambition.

Eleanor Kay, SLE Agriculture Policy Adviser, said: “What the industry needs right now is bold and ambitious leadership, setting a clear direction for agricultural policy which rewards and invests in farming and wider land management practises that benefits all.

“We welcome the support for Scotland’s farming and land management sector in this Bill, but we urge the Scottish Government to seize this opportunity to identify what we want to achieve from investment in rural Scotland. We need to use this time to start planning how we can help deliver a resilient, efficient and thriving rural sector and tackle the climate emergency head on.

“This Bill will not be a long-term solution, and so we would like to see a sunset-clause added to ensure there is an end date for these short-term measures. This will help focus minds on planning the long-term future of Scotland’s agriculture.”

SLE also briefed MSPs on the need for these new regulations to receive appropriate scrutiny and consultation with relevant parties.

Eleanor added: “The powers in this Bill have the potential to make significant changes to how we farm in Scotland and how land is managed. It is absolutely essential that any further legislation made as a result of this Bill is fully scrutinised with stakeholder consultation and goes through the appropriate processes. Rushing through legislation without full oversight could lead to unintended negative consequences, which must be avoided at all costs.”

Read the Briefing