Wednesday, 09 October 2019 15:36


The SNP’s Rural Affairs spokesperson, Deidre Brock MP, has said that farmers across Scotland will feel “betrayed” by the Tory Government’s latest plans for a No Deal Brexit.

Ms Brock has today written to Liz Truss to urge her to take no-deal off the table after the UK government announced plans yesterday to remove import tariffs in the event of a No Deal – a move that the SNP and the National Farmers Union says puts home-grown produce at a serious disadvantage.
More than half of all Scottish goods exports were sent to Europe in the last quarter, but leaving without a deal means that we will face the EU’s Common External Tariff - with tariffs of around 84% on Scotch Beef, 53% on wheat, 48% on Scotch Lamb and 30% on pork.
Commenting, Deidre Brock MP said:  
“Local farmers will quite rightly feel betrayed by the conscious decision of this Tory government to sell-out Scottish produce - almost half of our exports go to Europe so a No Deal Brexit would be seriously damaging for Scottish businesses, jobs and the economy.
“With tariffs of up to 84% on our world renowned Scotch Beef or almost 50% on Scotch Lamb, it’s no exaggeration to say that a No Deal Brexit will devastate key sectors of our economy.
“There is no such thing as a good Brexit – the best deal is the one we have now and the SNP has consistently called for Scotland to remain in the EU so that we can maintain free trade, with no tariffs or other barriers within Europe’s Single Market.
“Boris Johnson is threatening to leave the EU without a deal, which would cause incalculable harm to Scotland’s economy and agriculture sector. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect our interests and economy is to become an independent country.”
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said:
“Setting a low or zero tariff rate on the importation of key agricultural products, like cereals, eggs, pork, fruit and veg and some dairy produce will place many of our farmers at a significant disadvantage and undermine any efforts to negotiate new trade arrangements.
“Exports of Scottish produce like lamb and beef to the EU face the prospect of crippling tariffs as we are forced to operate to WTO rules. When we have the ambition to double the size of the farming, food and drink industry in Scotland to £30 billion, the tariff schedule, as proposed by the Government, would place that ambition in jeopardy.”

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