Scottish Liberal Democrat rural economy spokesperson Mike Rumbles has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government has convened a group of independent representatives from consumer, producer and environmental organisations to help design a new bespoke system for rural support after 2020.
In January, Scottish Liberal Democrats worked with the Scottish Government to pass a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the creation of a new independent policy group to look into rural support if the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy, after Brexit.
In response to a Parliamentary Question lodged by Mr Rumbles, the rural economy Cabinet Secretary announced the full list of members which includes representation from organisations such as NFUS, Scottish Environment Link and Food & Drink Scotland.
Mike Rumbles said:
“The Scottish Liberal Democrats have been calling for this group to be formed since 2016. It is absolutely critical that rural support funding, that presently comes to Scotland through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, is secure if the UK leaves the EU.
“This is a great opportunity to build a new system that works specifically to the strengths of Scotland’s rural economy. The best way to do that is to get organisations that have the most expertise and understanding of our rural economy round a table to design a bespoke system. Giving them a full ‘buy-in’ to the final scheme.
“I’m delighted that the Cabinet Secretary has announced the complete list of members today and I look forward to hearing the outcome of the first meeting of the group very soon.”