Banff and Buchan Member of Parliament and SNP Westminster Agriculture spokesperson Doctor Eilidh Whiteford has this week welcomed support for a ‘Yes’ vote from former presidents of the National Farmers Union of Scotland (NFUS).
John Ross, Jim Walker, John Kinnaird and John Cameron have declared their support for a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18.
They gathered at Yes Scotland HQ in Glasgow to urge Scotland’s 65,000 farmers, crofters and growers – as well as the 250,000 others who depend on agriculture for their living - to follow their lead.
Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said: ‘These gentlemen have between them many years of experience of leading the NFUS and seeing close-up how UK Governments of all political colours fail to promote the interests of Scottish farming and our rural communities.
‘Their backing for a Yes vote is extremely significant and demonstrates quite clearly that rural Scotland and Scottish agriculture will be best served by an independent Scottish Parliament which is focussed on the interests of our rural communities.”
John Ross, a livestock farmer for 50 years and president of NFUS from 1990 to 1996, said: “Farming and rural affairs need to be at the forefront of all future Scottish government thinking – and being fully committed members of the European Union is an essential part of that policy.
“An independent Scotland is the only way that this can be secured. A No vote will mean years of uncertainty about a UK government’s EU membership and commitment and this will have very serious consequences for the future of Scottish farming.”
John Kinnaird, who farms in East Lothian and was NFUS president from 2003 to 2007, said: “I am voting Yes because I believe this is the next logical process after devolution. Lines of communication with government are much quicker and more focussed.
“The current UK administration and other political parties lack focus, understanding and leadership on many issues, including EU membership.
“I am deeply concerned of a backlash against Scotland from Westminster if the vote is No.
“On September 18 I am not voting for a political party – I’m voting for independence.”