ENSURING the particular needs of Scotland’s farming and fishing industries are represented in crucial EU reform negotiations is paramount, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs said today.
Mr Lochhead was speaking ahead of a meeting in London today with DEFRA Secretary of State Caroline Spelman, at which key negotiating positions on EU reforms of both the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will be discussed.
He said:“These once in a decade reforms will shape the future for our farmers, our fishermen, our rural communities and our local economies. They are absolutely crucial to Scotland and we must protect our interests both now and for future generations of Scottish farmers and fishermen.
“There are a lot of issues in these EU reforms where Scotland shares the same position as the UK, where our situations are similar, and where our industries need the same outcomes.
“However, there are also issues where Scotland and the UK have different views, where the make-up of our land, our seas and our industries are different, and therefore where we are seeking different outcomes.
“And it will be absolutely crucial when this is the case, that Scotland’s position is acknowledged in the negotiations. This meeting with the UK Government will give us a welcome opportunity to discuss further how best we do this.”