Results 201–220 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I will give way if I have time, Presiding Officer. I have more to get through, because there are so many serious arguments against amendment 21. As we know, there are people who do not like, for various reasons—they are entitled to their views—tourism, forestry and renewables. It is simple: because tourism, forestry and renewables are not mentioned in amendment 21, those people could...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The words “forestry”, “tourism” and “renewables” are not mentioned in amendment 21. Therefore, people who do not like renewables—some spend their whole lives campaigning against wind farms—could go to the Court of Session to seek a judicial review, as many have before them. It is simple.

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I think that Mr Finnie wanted to come in first, so I give way to him by the droit du seigneur.

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: If Mr Finnie thinks that it is sensible to pass legislation that foreseeably opens the door to judicial challenge, I respectfully disagree with him. That would move the debate from Parliament into the courts. The ultimate outcome could be to prevent the improvement of the current CAP scheme or the testing of new schemes. Surely not one member here thinks that that is anything other than a...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Of course they are essential; that is precisely my argument. Why are they not mentioned in the amendment? [Interruption.] They are not in the amendment—that is a fact. I will move on. A further technical issue would arise from the effect of amendment 21. The Scottish ministers could make regulations under part 1 of the bill only if they contributed to one or more of the prescriptive and...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Amendment 17 changes the procedure for regulations made under section 10 from negative to affirmative. Amendment 18 is a consequential amendment. At stage 2, I listened carefully to the arguments that John Finnie made in support of his own similar amendment, and I thank him for not pressing that at the time because it gave me the necessary time to consider the full consequences of making such...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I just want to inform Mr Mundell that, far from Scottish farmers and crofters not getting their money on time, on 1 September, 11,885 farmers and crofters will receive £296 million, and they will receive the money three months before farmers in England get anything.

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I have already given commitments on consultation, on the record, at stages 1 and 2, and those commitments stand. I said that we will take steps to ensure that there is sufficient consultation of those who are closely involved with the impact of any proposed changes or measures in draft regulations. I also said: “We will not make major changes without appropriate consultation and engagement....

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I listened carefully to Mr Chapman, as I did when he lodged the very same amendment at stage 2. That amendment was defeated and we are debating the issue again. Mr Mundell’s comments about my not engaging are completely irrelevant, given that I made my views clear at stage 2. He will not be surprised to learn that they have not changed, because the amendment is simply not needed. It is not...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I think that the question is perhaps not the one that Oliver Mundell meant to ask. Of course we will take money out of the rural budget to pay to farmers and others who want it. I can try to answer the question that Oliver Mundell should have asked, but politics is not supposed to work like that, as many members know pretty well.

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The member had a chance and he blew it. So there we are. I will make one further, serious point. Mr Chapman is seriously making the argument, and I accept that it is a serious argument. However, if we agreed the amendment, we would have to use the money for the purposes that we had set out. We would tell the Parliament, “We will use the money to do this.” What would have happened if we...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: It is disappointing that, despite being roundly defeated on a similar amendment at stage 2 by members of every other party, the Tories have brought this issue back again. I again make it clear that this Government is committed to doing its very best for Scotland’s rural economy, and I will avoid any changes to marketing standards that would cause problems for Scottish businesses trading...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The recent Covid crisis demonstrates the critical role that farmers, crofters and everyone in the food industry plays, and we should all thank them for their work during lockdown to keep Scotland fed. Food security and insecurity are key issues for society, and Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic highlight the importance of an adequate, affordable and accessible food supply for all. I thank...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I am happy to give the assurance that there will of course be parliamentary involvement at the appropriate time, as there always is. I am happy that Mr Lyle has enabled that to be clarified. I am grateful to Mr Smyth for initiating this activity with his stage 2 amendment. However, I cannot support amendments 23 and 24, for three key reasons. First, we cannot pass measures in this bill...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: During stage 1, I set out how I update the Parliament regularly on the steps that are being taken to develop future policy on farming and food production. Most committees accepted my explanation. Indeed, the REC Committee said in its stage 1 report: “the Committee is satisfied that there is no need for a statutory requirement on periodic reporting to the Parliament to be included in the...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Amendment 20 is a technical amendment that inserts a new section into the bill on Crown application. The provisions in the bill, including any offences created under sections 8 or 10, will by default bind the Crown. However, it is a matter of general policy that the Crown should not be liable to prosecution for committing any such criminal offence. Instead, any non-compliance by the Crown is...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am delighted to present the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill to Parliament for its stage 3 debate. First, I will deal with an important formality. As members know, it is a requirement of standing orders that I signify Crown consent to the bill, when that is needed. Therefore, for the purposes of rule 9.11 of the standing orders, I advise the Parliament that Her...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill (26 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I thank all the stakeholders and individuals who contributed in any way to the bill. Whether they agreed with me or with other members, I thank them for participating in the process. I hope that all can see that we have listened and considered carefully all suggestions for changes and improvements to the bill’s measures. I think that it is fair for me to point out that we have responded to...

Scottish Parliament: Eat Out to Help Out Scheme (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Eat out to help out is the United Kingdom Government scheme run by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. It is running every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 August and 31 August. We do not currently have information on the number of businesses that have signed up to the scheme or on the number of times that it has been used in Scotland.

Scottish Parliament: Eat Out to Help Out Scheme (13 Aug 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We recognise that the scheme is making a contribution, but I caution Graham Simpson to be a bit cautious on whether that will be a “major” contribution. This morning, I spoke to three leading hoteliers in Scotland. They say that, unless the furlough scheme is extended beyond October or an alternative job support package is put in place, the resultant number of people who will face...


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