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In his New Year message, NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick has set out his wish list for not only the New Year but the new decade.
Heralding a new world for Scottish farming and crofting, Andrew considers the move away from Europe and the CAP after almost 47 years as one that will bring a massive change in how we look at our markets, our support and our people and will require significant negotiating skills and resolve to get the right outcome.
But will the politics make that more difficult? Andrew reminds readers that: ‘NFU Scotland’s role is not to get involved in political machinations. It is purely to get on with fighting for the best future for farming and crofting in Scotland regardless of the politics.’
Andrew’s wish list for 2020 and beyond is based on the old adage: ‘Plan like you’ll live forever and live like you’ll die tomorrow.’ It includes avoidance of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, access to EU markets, political engagement on new parliamentary bills, cast iron guarantees on future funding, access to labour, a Standards Commission, and finally – sooner rather than later – a new agricultural policy for Scotland that allows the nation’s farmers and crofters to play their part in meeting both the 2030 target for food and drink exports and our obligation to reducing emissions.
As he enters the final year of his presidency, he writes: ‘Over the last three and a half years, I have been deeply frustrated by the rhetoric and intransigence that has been pervading our political landscape. There has been too much focus on polarisation and not enough time delivering for the electorate. It is the season of goodwill. Our politicians need to take time out from politicking and bickering, get on with the day job, and deliver for the greater good across all parliaments in these challenging times.
‘I truly believe we have more that brings us together than divides us and NFUS is a template to follow. Our members are a coalition of views that come together to fight for the greater common good. We have members in the highest hills; the remotest of islands; on the best of land and everything in-between. They all have different challenges and ambitions and yet, as an industry, we are interdependent on each other. In many ways, this is our strength and something that the political process can learn from.’
Andrew McCornick’s full New Year message can be read at: www.nfus.org.uk/news/blog/presidents-blog-24-december-2019