Call for clarity for Scots forestry and fish
The UK Government must give details on how Scotland’s forestry and fishing sectors will be funded post-Brexit, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said.
Ahead of a meeting between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the devolved administrations, Mr Ewing said that decisions on funding must be made to provide greater clarity.
The sectors currently receive investment from EU funding schemes such as the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and Pillar 2 Rural Development funds for forestry.
Mr Ewing said: “The potential negative impact of Brexit on Scotland’s rural economy is becoming clearer all the time.
“Although I welcome the UK Government’s recent commitment to long-term marine funding from 2021 comparable to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), it is vital that this support reflects the size and requirements of Scotland’s marine sector.”
Mr Ewing also stated that funding commitments should be given to the forestry industry imminently, and stated that they must be long-term.
He added: “The Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) recently wrote to the environment secretary to express their alarm that no guarantees have been provided for ‘Pillar 2’ funding, which is vital to that sector, to remain post-Brexit.
“With only a few months to go, it’s completely unacceptable that Scotland is still being kept in the dark. People’s livelihoods are at stake, and I intend to get answers soon.”