Orkney Independence Debate Final Event in NFUS Referendum Roadshow

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25 August 2014

High profile panel of speakers confirmed as referendum draws closer

NFU Scotland has confirmed the high profile panel who will be debating the issue of independence in Orkney on Thursday 4 September.

Members and their friends and family who are based in the region are welcome to attend the event.

The debate, hosted by NFU Scotland’s Orkney region, will take place at Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall, 7pm for 7.30pm start, and will be chaired by Orkney and Shetland Regional Board Chairman, Brian Moss.

With the referendum on independence less than a month away, the Union is stepping up its efforts to involve the farming community in the debate, and allow those on either side of the independence question an opportunity to convey their ideas for Scotland’s future to members across the country.

Representing Better Together will be Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney and George Lyon, former MEP and chairman of Rural Together. Representing Yes Scotland will be Rob Gibson, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and Angus MacNeil, MP for Na H-Eileanan An Iar. Both sides will also be joined by a local farming representative.

Each of the speakers will be given five minutes to give their presentation on why those in attendance should vote for their campaign. This will be followed by questions and answers.

Brian Moss, Regional Chairman for the Orkney region who will be chairing the event, commented:

“We are delighted to be hosting this independence debate in Kirkwall and welcome the opportunity to put questions to both sides of the campaign.

“Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are unique in the way that the issues that affect us all here, are different from those in many other parts of Scotland. Amongst those issues are transport and communications which extends to having a sufficient power connection to the islands to allow expansion of the growing renewables sector.

“This will be a great opportunity to put our questions to these key politicians and a very fitting finale to the roadshows that NFU Scotland has held across the country.”

Clare Slipper, NFU Scotland Parliamentary Officer, commented: “The debate in Orkney will be the final event held by NFU Scotland before the independence referendum on September 18.

“Since we began our roadshow of events earlier this year, we have been overwhelmed and encouraged by the enthusiasm of our members and the wider agricultural community to engage with the debate.

“Since March, more than 1,500 members and interested people have turned out to hear from their representatives the arguments for and against Scottish independence. We are positive that these debates have provided both of the campaigns and our members an appropriate platform in which to have a wide-ranging and dynamic discussion over Scotland’s future, and hope that NFU Scotland members feel they can now make an informed decision on referendum day.”

Notes to editors:

  • The debate will take place on Thursday 4 September, 7pm for 7.30pm start, in the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1QX.
  • To submit questions for the panel to answer on the evening send them to kenny.slater@nfus.org.uk. To RSVP 0131 472 4000.
  • If you are unable to attend the debate but would like to submit a question to the panel, please give the NFU Office in Kirkwall or Walls and Hoy a call on 01856 872048, fax 01856 876451 or e-mail the question to kenny.slater@nfus.org.uk.
  • Members of the press who would like to attend, or would like more information should contact Ruth McClean at NFU Scotland on 0131 472 4108 or ruth.mcclean@nfus.org.uk.
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