Tuesday, 03 July 2018 17:06


The SNP’s Westminster Economy spokesperson has criticised the Chancellor for failing to come clean over how many agricultural jobs will be lost as a result of the UK government’s continued chaos over its future customs union plan.

At Treasury Questions in Westminster, Kirsty Blackman MP warned that with the EU’s average ‘applied’ Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff for agriculture products sitting at 11.1%, 157% on fruit and veg, 152% on beverages and tobacco, and 170% on oils, the Treasury must offer clarity and credible plans to address the risks facing Scotland’s food and drink exports – which amounts to over 18% of its total international exports.

Commenting, Kirsty Blackman MP said:

“The UK government’s continued chaos and infighting over the UK’s future customs arrangements poses a very real threat to Scotland’s world-leading food and drinks sector.

“Given that over 18% of Scotland’s international exports are food and drink related – our top export – it is only right that the Chancellor comes clean over the impact that the UK government’s customs union plans, or lack of, will have on these vital jobs.

“With the UK edging closer to the Brexit cliff-edge, his failure to do so is an abdication of duty.

“The UK government has repeatedly given empty assurances to Scotland’s farming communities, however the reality is that farmers are unable to make future plans off the back of hollow rhetoric.

“Farmers in Scotland should have received over 80% of the convergence uplift monies, instead the UK government slashed this to just 16% - equating to £30m from a total of £190m. The industry needs stability and investment, not cuts and false promises.

“The UK government’s own economic analysis has warned of the damaging consequences leaving the single market and customs union will have on the economy, jobs and different sectors across Scotland and the UK. It's time the government heeded its own analysis."

Read 253 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 July 2018 17:10

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