Friday, 10 January 2020 18:06



The SNP has slammed the UK Tory government for failing to meet the needs of Scottish farmers, after a scheme that would allow seasonal workers to enter Scotland after Brexit has been capped well below the demands of the industry.

In the lead up to last month’s election, Boris Johnson announced a Seasonal Workers scheme that will grant just 10,000 temporary visas throughout the UK over the course of the year.

The half-baked plan was celebrated by ex-Tory MP Kirstene Hair despite estimates that Angus alone requires more than 4,000 workers to keep the industry afloat.

Now, MSP for Angus South Graeme Dey and newly elected MP for Angus Dave Doogan have penned a letter to Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel calling for an “urgent review” of the scheme before the UK crashes out of the EU later this month.

In the letter to the UK government, the pair accused the Tories of “completely failing to recognise the urgency of the situation” and demanded the Scottish Parliament is handed the powers to build their own immigration system.

Commenting, Graeme Dey MSP said:

“The Tories simply couldn’t care less about the jobs and livelihoods that depend on the soft fruit and veg sector here in Angus, and across Scotland.

“With the UK Government only planning to grant 10,000 temporary visas for seasonal workers across the whole of the UK this year, this scheme doesn’t get anywhere close to tackling the labour shortages faced by the industry.  

“The incompetence and lack of understanding shown by this Tory government is pushing the industry to breaking point – if there’s no workforce to plant veg and pick fruit then tons of high-quality crops will be left to rot in the fields.

Dave Doogan MP added:

“We’re on course to be dragged out of the EU against our will in a matter of weeks – businesses can’t afford to wait any longer. The Tories need to face up to the mess they’ve created and meet the needs of Scottish farmers.

“Better still, it’s time that Holyrood was handed control over immigration to build a fair, common sense system that actually works for Scotland.”

Read 41 times Last modified on Friday, 10 January 2020 18:08

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