Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th November 2020.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I thank Mr Finnie for his remarks and his recognition of the importance of the payments to farmers and crofters. He raises an important issue that has not been raised thus far. It is absolutely correct that the bureaucratic, practical and logistical problems that are posed by borders, and by being out of the EU, are legion.

In the interministerial group meetings and the EU exit operations—XO—committee meetings, which Mr Gove chairs, Ms Cunningham, Ms Gougeon and I have pushed those points on innumerable occasions, and we will continue to do so. Mr Finnie’s remarks reflect a growing undercurrent of concern among primary producers and the whole food and drink sector about how it will work out—or not—on the night.