The UK could be exiting the EU within the next two years, with huge implications for Scottish policy and the economy. But the Minister for Rural Economy and Connectivity has told members of the committee that ‘it is premature to consider post Brexit policies’.
In an official Scottish Government document sent to REC committee members, the Minister again rejected calls from North East MSP Mike Rumbles to create a special team of experts responsible for developing a new CAP payments scheme that will play to the strengths of Scotland’s agricultural sector.
Mr Rumbles said: “Does the Minister not understand that Brexit will require a whole raft of policy changes for the rural economy. Many of which may take years to design and implement.
“The Scottish Government are still trying to fix their defunct Common Agricultural payments’ IT system, which buckled over a year ago. How does he expect to research, design and install a whole new set of payments systems in less time than that?
“It is now clear that this Government and it’s Ministers have no intention of protecting the rural economy from Brexit, and their sole objective is to see the United Kingdom fail. That is simply not good enough.”
Notes for editors:
- The Cabinet Secretary’s response is on the committee’s webpage (see page 6): http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S5_Rural/General%20Documents/20161025_REC_Committee_Additional_Response_Cab_Sec_21_September.pdf