Sunday, 22 July 2018 09:10


A Tory Councillor in Fife council has tried to claim poor management by farmers is the reason for the shortage of seasonal workers. 

Responding to a motion before Fife council about the Seasonal Agriculture Workers Scheme (SAWS), Dunfermline Central Tory councillor Alan Craig said: “I think we’re living in cloud cuckoo land if we’re depending on workers from other countries. For me it’s a management problem.”
Statistics published by the ONS this week show that migration from the EU to the UK is at its lowest level for four years, reinforcing fears that the Brexit worker shortages are on a downward trajectory. 
Farmers across Scotland have had to let fresh produce rot in the fields this year due to a shortage in agricultural labour in the agri-food sector, which employs 3.8 million people and is worth £112 billion to the UK economy.
Stephen Gethins MP for North East Fife said:
“It is outrageous that Tory councillors in Fife are trying to blame the farmers for a situation created by the Tory Government in Westminster.
“We have heard countless examples of quality produce rotting in fields across Scotland because of a shortage in seasonal workers coming to Scotland following the Brexit vote. I have heard first hand from local farmers deeply concerned about the situation they have been left in. 
“This means lost income, a hugely damaging impact on the local economy and lost confidence in the sector for future years. Farmers who work hard to produce the food we eat deserve better. 
“The Tories have lost a grip on reality and are leading the country towards a Brexit that will leave the country poorer. Even the Tory Government’s own analysis shows that their plans will be devastating for jobs and the economy. 

“The fact that both the Tories and Labour want to sacrifice jobs and living standards for a hard Brexit underlines the case for Scotland to take decisions for ourselves in an independent country.” 

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