I RECENTLY joined my colleagues Douglas Ross and Rachael Hamilton at the Royal Highland Show, where we launched the five key priorities of the Scottish Conservatives for rural Scotland.

These include accelerating the Agriculture Bill and ringfencing rural funding within the bill to protect Scotland’s food security and natural environment. We are also committed to upgrading rural roads and rolling out full fibre broadband in rural areas.

Scotland’s Agriculture Bill is set to be crucial for future funding for Scottish farmers.

Despite the Scottish Government holding a consultation on the bill between August and December last year, farmers are still unaware of the contents of the legislation, which will drastically affect their livelihoods.

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The Scottish Cabinet Minister for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon has said payments through the legislation will not be made use of until 2025.

Work on the legislation has also been postponed until the next parliamentary session in September, leaving Scottish farmers with no fully formulated funding plan three years after the UK’s exit from the EU and seven years after the referendum decision in 2016.

Instead of focusing on the day job and supporting Scottish agriculture, the SNP have once again decided to look inward and centre their attention on a campaign to break up the UK through their independence convention.

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Farming is an essential part of East Lothian’s economy, which I witnessed throughout the Royal Highland Show.

At the show, I met many local farmers and rural businesses from the county.

In an increasingly difficult global cost-of-living crisis, the SNP must shift their focus towards Scotland’s farming communities.