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Farming in the North East: UK Government establishes Trade and Agriculture Commission

By Alistair Whitfield

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Both NFU Scotland and Moray's MP have welcomed the creation of a Trade and Agriculture Commission.

Douglas Ross, pictured before lockdown
Douglas Ross, pictured before lockdown

The commission has been set up to help negotiate around new trade deals after Britain leaves the EU

Douglas Ross states that the new commission will have the power to ensure all imports equal the standards of Scotland's farmers as well as our food and drink producers.

He said: "As the MP in an area where farming dominates our fragile rural economy, I very much welcome this commitment which reaffirms that the UK Government won’t make any concessions when it comes to food and animal welfare standards.

"This pledge to put down firm markers to protect our food standards during negotiations was a keystone in securing the support of NFU Scotland."

Andrew McCornick, the NFU Scotland President
Andrew McCornick, the NFU Scotland President

Andrew McCornick, the NFU Scotland President, said: "For all UK farming unions the creation of a commission with the potential to safeguard our food and farming standards while navigating the complexities of negotiating new trade deals has been a priority for more than 18 months.

"We’ve discussed this matter in private with the Secretary of State twice in recent weeks and we welcome today’s announcement as a significant step forward.

"It is essential that our production standards are front and centre as the UK strikes its own trade deals.

"Our call that products imported into the UK should be produced to the same standards or equivalent as those asked of our farmers and crofters has been backed through an online petition that has secured more than one million signatures.

"NFU Scotland will engage positively in the process of establishing terms of reference for the commission.

"That must progress with a great deal of urgency given our departure from the European Union is just over six months away.

"Once established, we will scrutinise any future recommendations the commission makes and ensure they are in the best interests of Scottish farmers and crofters and our food and drink industry as we enter the post-Brexit era."

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