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Brexit (Farming)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 31st May 2018.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I do not accept that, and the reasons for that are twofold. First, at meetings with Mr Gove and Mr Eustice, we have repeatedly sought clarity about precisely what the powers of the Parliament will be. We have no absolute clarity on that. Secondly, we have asked for clarity on funding post-Brexit, and we know nothing about that. Can any member tell me any business plan—I have been in business—that has no figures in it? It is ludicrous to suggest that anybody could come up with a detailed plan as long as the UK Government completely fail to obtemper the promises that were made during the Brexit referendum campaign, during which it was said that the funding would be at least matched. No wonder people voted for Brexit when they were told that there would be the possibility of getting more money. Now, we know nothing whatsoever.

There is a second reason why I disagree with Mr Smyth. We expect a report from the agricultural champions on the future of agriculture. In addition, the National Council of Rural Advisers will, very shortly, publish a consultation document, with its final report to come in September. Incidentally, that council was set up directly in response to Parliament’s wishes. We are doing exactly as this Parliament has requested.