Under questioning from North East MSP Mike Rumbles, in the rural affairs committee today, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Scotland’s rural economy had nothing to say when asked about his vision for Scottish agriculture. Instead of providing a clear answer to the committee, the Cabinet Secretary chose to talk about the weather.
The closest the minister got to giving a response Mr Rumbles was ‘I’m acutely aware of the difficulties farmers have faced over the past winter, a very long winter, with extended bad snow and rain’.
The Liberal Democrat MSP also told the minister that farm businesses want to know what is in store for them after Brexit and they needed to hear what plans had been put in place over the past two years for farming support in Scotland.
Following the meeting, Mr Rumbles said: “If it wasn’t clear before, that the Cabinet Secretary has no clue what to do next, it is now. He would rather talk about the weather than his vision for Scotland’s rural economy.
“I gave him an open opportunity to set out his vision for farm support and agriculture in Scotland and all we got back was waffle. Most ministers would relish the opportunity to design a new bespoke system that works directly for Scotland but Mr Ewing is more interested in arguing with his counterpart in Westminster.
“Scotland has a lot to offer, our unique produce is known across the world but under this inept government we’ve gone from crisis to crisis and now uncertainty about the future is severely damaging our rural industries.
“The Scottish Government has had two years to come up with a plan. With the final deal on Brexit only 10 months from now, we need to see a clear direction of travel for our rural economy.”
Notes for Editors:
- See the full committee exchange at 11:00 on: www.scottishparliament.tv