Responding to the Agriculture Bill 2019-21 being granted Royal Assent, Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“The UK Government’s Agriculture Bill completely fails to deliver on promises made to Scotland during the EU referendum, namely pledges that EU funding would be at least matched, and we completely oppose any attempts to grab key powers from our Parliament that will impact on farming and food production.

In response to the Bill I have previously publicly reassured crofters and farmers that there are no plans to end direct subsidy support in Scotland. We have brought forward our own legislation which will implement a five year period of 'Stability and Simplicity' aimed at providing farmers with financial certainty in the face of Brexit. This will allow us to make changes to rural support that are right for Scotland with support for sustainable food production at its heart.

I have worked hard with the UK Government to resolve problems with the Bill throughout its Parliamentary passage, including provisions granting unacceptable powers allowing the Secretary of State to legislate in areas of devolved competency such as livestock traceability and organics. These provisions lacked consent mechanisms and I am pleased that amendments inserting these mechanisms were made. However, the clauses on the World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture within the Bill remain unacceptable.

It is welcome that the long running issue of the Red Meat Levy is finally being addressed through the Bill, but we need to ensure it is implemented quickly. We are leading the development of the legislative scheme, which the three GB meat levy bodies will then implement. They are working towards the repatriation scheme being in place and implemented in April 2021 for the start of the 2021/22 financial year.”