Fergus Ewing to host a series of summits on how Brexit could affect rural economy
Fergus Ewing - credit: Scottish Parliament
Fergus Ewing will host a series of summits examining how the vote for Brexit in the EU referendum will impact on Scotland’s rural economy.
Ewing will bring together industry experts in areas such as forestry, fish farming and food and drink to discuss how the sector could be boosted after the Leave vote.
The first summit, focusing on the farmed shellfish sector, will be held on Thursday.
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Ewing said: "I want to drive forward the rural economy and there are a number of sectors which have a crucial role to play in this.
"That's why I am hosting a series of summits to bring together key players, identify the barriers to growth and recommend potential actions to increase investment and boost jobs.
"Clearly our place in Europe is a key issue when it comes to our economy, and our rural economy in particular.
"That is why we are working to maintain our relationship with the EU, and how we can best protect Scotland's interests will be an important part of the discussions at each of our summits."
Theresa May previously stated she "willing to listen to options" on the UK’s negotiating position as it seeks to leave the EU.
But SNP MP Stephen Gethins has expressed concern the Prime Minister would seek to trigger Article 50 without approval from the Scottish Parliament.
He said: “It is deeply worrying that Theresa May seems intent on ploughing ahead with a hard Brexit, without the approval of parliament and despite the serious damage it could do to the Scottish and UK economies.
"Just two months ago the Prime Minister pledged to govern in the interests of all nations in the UK - if that was a genuine commitment then the UK government must respect the clear wishes of the people of Scotland who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.”