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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 13th February 2020.

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George Burgess:

No, I do not think so. The Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill, which implements the stability and simplicity approach for the period between now and 2024, is currently before the Scottish Parliament. I have mentioned the future policy group, which aims to bring forward proposals by the summer of this year. That is the point when we will begin looking at the transition—things that may be piloted between now and 2024—so we are definitely not looking at a sharp cliff-edge transition in 2024.

Hopefully within that time period, we will gain a clearer understanding of our trading regime with Europe and the rest of the world. At the moment, it is frankly quite hard to work out what we should be doing with sectors such as sheepmeat, given that we do not know what the situation with our largest export markets will be.