NFU Scotland believes Scotland’s decision to remain within the UK provides a platform to drive the country’s farming, food and drink sectors forward.
At the same time, Prime Minister David Cameron’s post-vote commitment towards the consideration of “English votes for English MPs” has raised the prospect of industry changes and opportunities emerging throughout the UK.
NFU Scotland (NFUS) president Nigel Miller commented: “Further powers for Scotland have been promised. Clarity on the scope of those powers and timescale for delivery will be important if momentum for positive change is to be maintained. There is to be a debate in Westminster on October 16 to consider extra devolved powers for Scotland, a white paper by the end of November and draft legislation by January 2015. The process of how NFU Scotland will engage in that debate starts today.”
Already high on Scottish agriculture’s shopping list, however, is greater direct representation in Brussels, accompanied by what NFUS describes as more “budget convergence”, by which they mean securing the delivery of “more CAP money for Scotland” than is currently happening.
As for those who thought the conclusion of the voting process would allow businesses to return to normal, the immediate reaction from Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, suggested otherwise.
“I don’t think that we will ever be allowed to go back to business as usual in politics again,” he said.