Being part of the United Kingdom means Scotland’s farmers and fishermen can punch above their weight in Europe and the wider world, the Secretary of State for Scotland said today.
Michael Moore today welcomed the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, to Scotland for a series of visits in the Lothians and Borders.
Moore accompanied Spelman on a visit to Eyemouth, where they met with local fishermen and seafood processors. They then travelled on to Stow, to meet with representatives from the National Farmers Union of Scotland, and to the Glenkinchie Distillery in Pencaitland, where they discussed issues related to the whisky industry with officials from the Scotch Whisky Association.
“I was delighted to join the Environment Secretary on her visits to local producers. Scottish farmers and fishermen make a huge contribution to our society, producing the food we eat and supporting the wider economy, particularly in rural and coastal communities. Scottish produce is renowned for its quality around the world, with exports increasing.
“The UK, as one of the world’s leading economies, has the clout to negotiate the best possible deal for our producers with the European Union and to open up new markets through global trade negotiations.
“We are stronger when we speak with one voice. We must continue to work together with the Scottish Government and the industry in Scotland to fight our corner around the world.”
Caroline Spelman said:
”Scotland’s produce is becoming the envy of the world thanks to the hard work of fishermen, farmers and everyone else involved in food and drink production.
“The success that the industry achieved in 2011 was phenomenal and brought enormous benefits to the economy of not just Scotland but the whole of the UK.
“We must now find a way to make sure that the industry can thrive by reforming the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy in a way that allows farmers and fishermen to continue to be successful in the future.”