Call for united position on Brexit rural issues

Rural Secretary says “devolved administrations must be listened to”.


The devolved nations must speak with a united voice to protect interests such as agriculture during the Brexit negotiations, Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing has stressed.


In a letter to other administrations, Mr Ewing set out the need for a unified position on matters no longer subject to EU law, which are the responsibility of the devolved administrations such as farming, fisheries and environmental protection.


Mr Ewing also said it was clear repatriated powers in these areas would be the responsibility of Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast as now.


The letter sets out growing concern that the UK Government is not listening to the devolved administrations on matters linked to rural policy as it seeks new UK frameworks to replace those currently provided by membership of the EU.


Mr Ewing said:


“I believe Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland share the same position that full responsibility for the agriculture sector will sit with devolved administrations following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, as now.


“That is why I have written to my counterparts in the other devolved governments calling for a united voice in discussions with the UK Government. This can help secure the best possible outcome for the industry across the UK.”


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