SIR, It was with my usual bemusement that I endured another incoherent rant from Jim Fairlie MSP in this week’s issue of The Scottish Farmer.

The irony of a nationalist politician extolling the virtues of leaving a union we voted to remain a part of to join another we voted to leave appears to be lost on Mr Fairlie. It is even more ironic that our closest and most similar competitor, the Republic of Ireland, appears to be losing suckler cows at an even faster rate than here and all across continental Europe farmers have been rising up to make their disdain for their metropolitan overlords clear.

It is tone deaf at best to claim that EU membership is the answer to all our problems. One of the main benefits championed by those suffering from Brexit derangement syndrome is the return of the free movement of people but it makes me very uncomfortable that the viability of our industry apparently relies on us having the ability to import foreigners to exploit when there are quite literally millions of UK citizens on out-of-work benefits.

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As much as I agree that the policy direction in England and Wales seems idiotic at best, the rural portfolio is a devolved issue meaning that the Scottish Government has had an opportunity they seem certain to waste to create a future agricultural support system that could help rural Scotland thrive.

On Mr Fairlie’s appointment to government, I’m afraid anyone whom is willing to serve alongside the Scottish Greens can’t possibly claim to be a champion of rural Scotland.

Phil Strathdee, North Retanach, Rothiemay