Scotland news: Theresa May urges Nicola Sturgeon to back Brexit plans | Politics | News – UK



Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May told Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader: “Listen to the views of the Scottish NFU, they said this week that the plan that the government has put forward is something that certainly the agriculture and food and drink sectors can work with and that politicians from all sorts of parliaments and assemblies should actually get behind it.”

It came as the UK Government published its Agriculture Bill designed to help ensure a smooth transition from the subsidy regime currently run by Brussels to a new system.

Michael Gove, the UK Environment Secretary, said it would deliver a “green Brexit” and a “smooth and gradual transition”.

While farming is devolved, it also includes powers that can be adopted by the devolved administrations to create the frameworks for their new farm subsidy regimes.

The Welsh Government and Northern Ireland’s Department for Agriculture, Environmental and Rural Affairs have asked the UK Government to legislate on their behalf to create this ability.

But SNP ministers refused to sign up and are unlikely to give the Bill Holyrood’s consent, sparking another dispute with Westminster.

It means they will have to pass a separate legislation at the Scottish Parliament to achieve the same end.

The SNP’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing claimed the Bill did not deliver on promises made to farmers.

Mr Ewing said: “This Bill rides roughshod over the devolved settlement.

“For example, on compliance with World Trade Organisation rules, the bill could create sweeping unilateral powers that could constrain policy choices in Scotland.”

But Tories accused his administration of “leaving farmers in the dark” as last week’s programme of government did not include a bill on agriculture.

The National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) said there needed to be more clarity about how funds will be managed and how much control would be held at Holyrood.

But sustainable farming campaign the Nature Friendly Farming Network backed the UK government and called on the SNP to get behind the plans. 

SNP Constitutional Relations Secretary is due to meet UK ministers in London today (THURS) to discuss Brexit.

He has insists quitting the EU does not have to mean accepted the Chequers plan or a no-deal Brexit.



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