NFU Scotland welcomes passing of Agriculture Bill

NFU Scotland (NFUS) has welcomed the passage of the UK Agriculture Bill in Westminster as a “significant step forward in securing a prosperous future for the agriculture sector in Scotland and the UK after the end of the transition period”.

The inclusion of a last-minute amendment that will significantly improve the scrutiny of new trade agreements in terms of their potential implications on animal and plant health and welfare, the environment, and food standards has been described as a “win” for NFUS.

However, the Agriculture Bill also includes a mechanism to resolve the long-standing issue of the red meat levy repatriation.

NFUS believes this will ensure the return of millions of pounds of levy funding back to Scotland to support the beef, lamb and pork sectors.

NFUS President Andrew McCornick said:

“The UK Agriculture Bill is largely an enabling act for future agricultural policy in England, and Scotland has set its own policy direction through its own bill.

However, we have extensively engaged in the passage of the Bill, which is now an Act of Parliament, on the UK-wide elements which are of key strategic importance to agriculture in Scotland.

“The passage of the Agriculture Bill has been a long and sometimes politically fractious journey; however, NFUS strongly believes that with the inclusion of the government’s last-minute amendment on scrutiny of future trade deals and agricultural standards is crucial.

“This should ensure that the Act delivers what the agriculture sector needs – a basis on which to productively grow agricultural businesses and reap the benefits of the UK’s new independent trade policy,” he concluded.