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Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:27 pm on 21st January 2020.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 1:27 pm, 21st January 2020

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. The tariffs could have a shattering impact on many of our most important agriculture industries in Scotland and the Government should be fully aware of the recompense they should be making to farmers and crofters as a result of that possibility.

There are questions to be raised on farm payments in the Bill, but also on other agriculture issues that Brexit threatens: the import of fertilisers and other crop treatment products; the import of animal feed; the export of the high-quality produce we create in Scotland; the protection of the domestic market, which has been raised, from poor quality US produce; maintaining sanitary and phytosanitary standards; and protection from GM incursions.

Brexit’s Pandora’s box is open and the furies are taking flight. What hope remains for England is unclear, but Scotland has an option that we are likely to exercise soon. In the meantime, let us pass the Bill. Let us legislate in haste and amend at leisure. Let us get on with the business of keeping farmers and crofters in business, at least for the next wee while. Let us see if we can get to the other business in good time to avoid another round of disaster legislation.