The issue of the effect of neonicotinoids on bee populations is very important to my constituents.
It is of great concern that bee populations are in decline and the data indicating that there could be links between bee populations, and bee health, and the use of pesticides such as neonicotinoids warrants alarm. This certainly needs further investigation and I am clear that restrictions must be kept in place until these links are better understood.
I am well aware of the enormous positive impact bees have on our environment as pollinators, and I am glad the current restrictions will remain while the European Commission undertakes a review and further evidence is gathered.
The restrictions which are applied in the UK are as a direct result of EU law. Unfortunately the UK did vote to leave the EU and, when that happens, it is likely that EU law will no longer apply. This would result in us being reliant on the UK Tory Government to enforce any further restrictions.
Worryingly there are many instances when the choices made by the Tories seem greatly at odds with the best interests of the people of Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that she has a different mandate to that of Theresa May. In Scotland the result was that 62% of people voted to remain. The First Minister is now pursuing a course of action which will enable her to protect Scotland’s place in Europe.
This would mean the many sensible laws that we share with our European neighbours, whether it be the restrictions on neonicotinoids, the European Convention on Human Rights or sensible targets for carbon reduction, would still stand in Scotland.
Time is running out for many of Edinburgh's small businesses. Today I've written to the Chancellor asking for additional emergency assistance for our hospitality sector through the COVID-19 epidemic.