The Scottish Government is making a mistake by failing to prepare Scotland’s agriculture sector for Brexit, says Highlands and Islands Tory MSP Donald Cameron.
He spoke after the publication at the House of Commons of the Scottish Affairs Committee report on post-Brexit support for Scottish agriculture.
Mr Cameron said: “Brexit provides us with an opportunity to shape our agriculture policies in a way which suits the needs of farmers and crofters in the Highlands and Islands.
"No longer will we be constrained by the CAP imposed on us by distant regulators in Brussels.
“Unfortunately the Scottish Government is failing to make the necessary preparations for the change, presumably because of its hostility to the Brexit process. As observed earlier this year by NFU Scotland, there is a ‘vacuum’ in policy from Holyrood leaving the Scottish industry in the dark.
“This is putting politics ahead of the interests of this vital sector which provides the bedrock of the economy in this region.”
Mr Cameron, who is the Scottish Conservatives’ Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, said: “I will be working with the UK Government to address other outstanding concerns such as export tariffs and access to labour.
“I very much hope SNP ministers will do the same. Farmers and crofters wish to see our two governments working together rather than point-scoring.”
Like his party leader, Ruth Davidson, Mr Cameron remains of the view that the best outcome would be to leave the EU with a deal and he does not support a no deal exit. However he believes it would be imprudent not to prepare for all possibilities – as does everyone with the interests of farming at heart.