The Agriculture Bill has now passed through its second reading, and I managed to raise a couple of issues that pertain to Scottish farmers. Firstly, I mentioned the Red Meat levy, which sees Scottish animals slaughtered in England and the levy kept with the English slaughterhouse. I would like the levy to be returned to the Scottish farmer, which would be a great investment in our sheep, pig, and beef farmers.
I also raised the inaction of the Scottish Government over the issue of post-Brexit agriculture. Scottish farmers have been left in limbo as the Scottish Government have not proposed any replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy. refusing to even adopt aspects of the Agriculture Bill which would be advantageous to our farmers.
We need to see movement on this, now.
Stirling MP Stephen Kerr has this week slammed the Scottish Government for rejecting an offer from the UK Government to extend powers from the Agriculture bill to Scotland.
The Agriculture Bill is designed to support farmers as the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy. Policies included in the bill would give small farmers financial rewards for protecting the Environment, and would ensure investment into equipment and infrastructure for new entrants into the agricultural sector.
The bill would have a large impact on Stirling farms, as it includes powers that can be adopted by the devolved administrations to create the frameworks for their new farm subsidy regimes. The Scottish Government would have to publish their own bill to get the same effect.
The bill went through its second reading on Wednesday.
Stephen Kerr MP said:
“The SNP Scottish Government have once again stuck their heads in the sand over Brexit. By turning down this opportunity to ensure farming support can be guaranteed after 2020, they have left Stirling’s farmers with an uncertain future.
The Welsh and Northern Irish jurisdictions have accepted the UK Government’s offer. The SNP Government’s rejection can only be interpreted as more grievance mongering over the Union and Brexit.