Rural communities tell us they are worried about the consequences of Brexit – and because potential impacts (both known and unknown) may not be realised for years to come – any attempt to provide clarity and stability in both the long and short term are welcome. Through the Brexit process agriculture gets a lot of attention – and rightly so – but we are concerned that not enough thought is being put into protecting the other essential assets of rural Scotland. People who live and work in rural Scotland need to be given adequate protection and guaranteed continuity of essential services and funding once we we exit the EU and for the years that follow.
SRA welcomes the announcement by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing of a funding package and consultation which will aim to “provide stability, certainty and simplicity for farmers, crofters and land users, with the key measure of a transition period of between three and five years”. However, we are keen to see a similar commitment to non-agricultural forms of funding, for example knowing what is proposed to happen with LEADER funding.
SRA will continue to listen to and work with Scotland’s rural communities through our own Brexit project, and we will work with our partners to be a strong voice for rural Scotland.