Views sought for Smith Commission

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Farming leaders were in the Borders on Tuesday night to hear local producers views further devolution.

NFU Scotland’s parliamentary officer Clare Slipper and union president Nigel Miller, of Stow, were set to attend a Lothian and Borders regional meeting.

Local views – along with others the union gains around the country – will be fed in to a response that NFU Scotland officials are preparing for the Smith Commission.

Led by UK Government-appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin, the commission will oversee the devolving of further powers to Scotland, following the country’s No vote in last month’s referendum.

Clare said: “Speaking to members across the country prior to the referendum, it was very clear that there exists a vast range of views on how Scotland can be a better and more prosperous place to live, work and farm.

“Having been invited to submit a response to the Smith Commission, we feel now is the time to talk with members about Scotland’s future governance within the UK – including whether further devolution is required and how we can use the powers we currently have more effectively for the benefit of rural Scotland.

“Our consultation looks at the various issues that came up time and again at our referendum engagement debates – such as EU representation, energy policy, and business incentives – and we are encouraged by the positive response we’ve had so far in the process. If you have thoughts on further devolution then I urge you to get in touch.”