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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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Jonnie Hall:

Again, at the risk of repeating myself, the preservation of the internal UK market is vital to the interests of Scottish agriculture. Alan Clarke mentioned some statistics about red meat. Our most important market is the rest of the UK, but we want to grow markets beyond that. I have often referred to the spending power within the M25, where we are sitting right now, as our bread and butter. That remains key, so we are very mindful of anything that rubs against the free flow of not just finished agricultural produce, but livestock. If I were a beef producer in the Scottish borders and wanted to buy a bull from Northumberland, I would not think it a smart move to operate different animal traceability systems and have all sorts of checks and balances at Berwick. In theory, that could be the outcome if we do not get these pieces of legislation to align.