Farmers’ chance to have their say on European Union

NFU Scotland vice president Andrew McCornick
NFU Scotland vice president Andrew McCornick

Leaving the European Union would have a major impact on the region’s farming industry and NFU Scotland is giving farmers the chance to have their say.

With the Scottish Parliament elections behind us and momentum building towards the vote on June 23 on whether the UK stays in or leaves the European Union the likely scenarios for Scottish agriculture are being discussed at a special debate.

NFU Scotland’s debate on European membership ‘In or Out – The implications for Scottish food and farming’ is being held in the MacRobert Pavilion, Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, on Thursday 19 May, 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

The first speaker confirmed is European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. A speaker for ‘Vote Leave’ is to be confirmed.

The union’s vice president Andrew McCornick said: “With debate on the referendum gathering pace, it is important that Scottish farming has a voice in any scrutiny given to the issue ahead of the vote on June 23.

“Not only is it important to discuss the likely scenarios for Scottish agriculture should we leave the EU, but it is also relevant to consider what we can hope to achieve from the reform agenda for Europe. What might that reform agenda mean for the Common Agricultural Policy, if voters opt to stay ‘in’?

“NFUS has said throughout the debate that, to date, the current balance remains in favour of staying in the EU. However, it is not for the union to tell its members in any way how they should use their vote.

“It therefore becomes all the more important that key issues such as the future of agricultural support, access for Scottish produce to European markets, and the movement of labour are given prominence in the debate.”