AS THE saying goes 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' – so NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick has issued a firm invite to the two candidates vying to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to meet with the union to discuss farmers' Brexit concerns.

Messrs Hunt and Johnson were due to visit Scotland later this week for a debate in front of Scottish Conservative Party members. Ahead of that, Mr McCornick wrote to both inviting a discussion on the 'pressing priorities' of the Scottish agricultural industry – and for the union to set out in the clearest terms what the industry expects from our next Prime Minister.

"As president of this organisation, representing over 8500 agricultural businesses the length and breadth of Scotland, I am constantly speaking with members," said Mr McCornick. "What they tell me is that they need an end to political uncertainty due to Brexit. Political uncertainty breeds business uncertainty.

"Agriculture is an industry that would be uniquely exposed to the worst impacts of a ‘no deal’, with the imposition of asymmetric export and import tariffs threatening to undercut all our world-leading sectors.

Whilst Mr Hunt’s leadership campaign made some assurances earlier this week that government support would be required for agriculture if the sector does shift to a WTO tariff situation, I for one am dismayed that, three years on from the referendum, the abyss of a ‘no deal’ exit remains a possible – nay ever more likely – outcome.

"I call upon both Prime Ministerial candidates to commit to work with our industry to recover confidence levels and work towards a brighter and more certain long-term future. And I hope to get the chance to deliver that message face-to-face."