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    NFUS Red Tape Campaign Gathers Momentum
01/06/06

NFU Scotland’s campaign to put an end to unnecessary regulation gathered pace again this week with a detailed document submitted to the Davidson Review, the independent inquiry looking into over-regulation. In its submission, NFUS argues that the regulatory system has spun out of control with new rules and charges being imposed on the agricultural industry despite no evidence of them delivering public benefit.

farmland

Neil Davidson QC, the Advocate General for Scotland, has been commissioned by the UK Government to conduct an independent review into how the UK implements European legislation. The primary aim of the review is to identify and tackle ‘gold-plated’ regulation, which goes beyond the minimum required by Brussels.

NFUS is proposing a new model for dealing with EU legislation to maximise public benefit, eliminate the growth of needless red tape and put common sense back into the decision-making process.

Amongst the examples used by NFUS to highlight over-the-top regulation are Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, the Water Framework Directive and the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive.

NFUS Vice President Jim McLaren said:

“The regulatory system is spinning out of control and the farming industry is losing confidence in it. I know as a farmer I have my responsibilities to the countryside, food chain and animal welfare, but, as an industry, we will not accept new regulations being imposed on us with no explanation as to why they are necessary or whether they will deliver any public benefit in return.

“Too often, I believe government runs scared of Brussels. It adopts a blunt, one-size-fits-all approach to regulation rather than argue the often fully justified case for more proportionate implementation.

“If we have an environmental or other kind of problem in Scotland, let’s first identify it, then decide how best to tackle it. Instead, we seem to have a ‘regulate first, ask questions later’ culture. The threatened ban on the use of tallow and charges under the water abstraction and IPPC schemes are just a few recent examples of how red tape can cost the industry millions with little explanation as to the benefit.

“We are willing to work closely with government and enforcement authorities to come up with a system which is targeted and proportionate. But they need to convince us that their regulation will deliver benefits, not just raise revenue for them – frankly, they are not doing that at the moment.

“Our new model will benefit government by streamlining its regulatory activity and save the industry from a growing list of costs which is threatening its sustainability.”

link NFUS Tenants Farming Group Outlines Priorities
link EU Commission Proposes Simplification of CAP
link Upland Environment Needs Farmers

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National Farmers' Union
NFU Scotland