Following the publication of the Agriculture Bill, the Scottish Affairs Committee launches an inquiry to investigate how any post-Brexit agricultural system could meet the needs of Scottish farmers and crofters.
Agricultural policy after Brexit
As the UK leaves the European Union, it will cease to be bound by the rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and a new UK wide framework agreement will need to be created to manage agricultural policy in the UK and the devolved nations.
This inquiry considers the implications of agriculture powers returning from Brussels and how any common frameworks between the UK and devolved Governments will be balanced with providing flexibility for each nation. It also explores the implications of the Agriculture Bill not giving powers to the Scottish government.
The Committee will also examine the shortages of agricultural workers in Scotland following the UK Government's announcement of a new Seasonal Workers pilot scheme. Productivity in farms will also be looked at, particularly the role science and technology can play in making farms more innovative.
Committee Chair, Pete Wishart MP, said:
"Agriculture is a vital part of the Scottish economy and way of life in remote and rural areas. As the UK leaves the EU, Scotland has an opportunity to ensure its agricultural policies meet the needs of Scottish farmers.
This inquiry will examine the key priorities for Scottish farming and explore how agricultural policy after Brexit will impact Scottish farmers, particularly those in remote and less favoured areas, while retaining a common framework with the rest of the UK."
Call for written submissions
The Committee's inquiry could consider the following issues:
- What should be the priorities of any future agricultural support system in Scotland? Are the needs of the agricultural sector in Scotland different from the rest of the UK?
- What funding will Scotland’s agricultural sector require post-Brexit? What should future agricultural support in Scotland look like, and what goals should it seek to achieve?
- How should a future agricultural policy seek to accommodate different sectors of the farming community, especially those in remote and less favoured areas, and crofters?
- What should be included in common frameworks between the UK and devolved administrations in relation to agriculture? What balance should it strike between having a common UK-wide approach and providing flexibility to Scotland's needs?
- What should be done to meet the long-term labour needs of Scotland's agricultural sector?
- What role can innovation & technology have in improving productivity in Scottish agriculture?
The deadline for written submissions is 11 January 2019.