SHE was one of the stars of the Leave campaign before her disastrous failed attempt to become Prime Minister, and now UK Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has angered Scottish politicians and farmers with one of her first speeches about agriculture in Britain post-Brexit.

In a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference, Leadsom continually referred to “British” farming and food, despite the fact that agriculture is wholly devolved to Scotland.

Much more significantly, she made pledges on cutting EU red tape, saying: “By cutting the red tape that comes out of Brussels we will free our farmers to grow more, sell more and export more great British food.”

Other specific pledges included: “We’ve been able to reassure farmers that they will receive the same level of financial support (as Europe gives) until 2020. Up to £120 million will be made available to help support rural growth.”

That money is for England alone, and as yet no similar pledge has been made to help Scotland’s own Rural Development Programme.

Leadsom also hinted that migrant farm workers who are crucial for such sectors as Scotland’s berry-growing farms may still be allowed in from the EU – even though that is a decision for the Home Office, as its spokesperson confirmed yesterday.

The National has also learned that while there have been meetings between the Scottish Government and Leadsom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), there had been no specific consultation on Leadsom’s pledges to the conference. Both the Scottish Government and farmers are now demanding greater clarity for the future of a hugely important sector of the Scottish economy.

Jonnie Hall, director of policy for the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS), said: “With less than four months until the UK Government’s intended trigger date for Article 50, Scottish farmers and crofters need to hear firm detail from government on what it is seeking from the EU withdrawal negotiation.

“The two green papers that the Secretary of State will bring forward on farming and food, and the environment, will give us a real insight into Defra and UK Government thinking, and provide a clear steer on whether domestic farming and rural policy can meet the very clear needs of the Scottish farming and food sectors, and their importance to the economy, environment and communities in rural Scotland.

“In each green paper, we’ll be looking for commitments that allow Scotland to shape and implement policy that befits its unique agricultural and rural profile, enabling farming and crofting to thrive on new opportunities beyond the Common Agricultural Policy and for Scotland’s food and drinks industries to grow in new and existing markets.”

Clare Slipper, NFUS parliamentary officer, added: “The Secretary of State’s willingness to address unnecessary red tape is welcome, although NFUS remains very conscious that any meaningful change to regulation at a UK or Scottish level will be very much dictated by the eventual trade agreements that are secured with the EU, as well as the new agricultural policy that will come into operation after our withdrawal from the EU.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “While UK ministers chose to make a range of statements and assertions at this conference relating to farming in England, they failed to give industry, and Scotland’s rural communities the clarity and certainty they need.”

A Defra spokesman said: “We will continue to work with all devolved administrations throughout the process of preparing the UK’s exit from the EU. The Secretary of State has made clear she will be consulting on proposals in due course.”