12 July 2017

Senior Tory and NFUS Call for Brexit Rethink

Brexit Threat to Rural Scotland

Calling for a halt to Brexit in today’s Herald, former Tory MEP Struan Stevenson echoed NFU Scotland's warnings that Brexit and trading outside the EU risks collapsing land values, declining markets and a dependency on cheap, low quality imports.

Struan Stevenson said that as Scottish farmers face a future without EU subsidies - accounting for 60% of their income - Brexiteers want to throw open “UK markets to cheap food from Africa, Australia, North America, Brazil and Argentina, causing chaos for UK farm gate prices, a further fall in land values and widespread bankruptcies.”

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, he warned of the dangers of trading with the US such as imported chlorinate washed chicken and hormone injected beef. He said:

“It seems ridiculous that a year after the referendum we still haven’t got our ducks in a row.”

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson SNP MSP and member of Holyrood’s Rural Economy committee said:

“More and more senior figures are condemning the UK government’s failing Brexit approach and their desperation to broker trade deals with new partners that will have devastating consequences for Scotland's fishing and farming industries - sectors which pride themselves on high quality produce.

“Quality Meat Scotland has already warned that Scottish farmers will be unable to compete with cheap imports from, for example, the US and countries in South America that can offer poorer quality, hormone-treated meat at lower prices than our high quality meat in Scotland. And NFU Scotland has today echoed those warnings and called once again for tariff free access to EU markets.

“But the Tories in power are still blind to the dangers, unable to think outside their narrow party interests and face up to the facts about a hard Brexit and what it will mean for our rural industries.

“The Tory Government’s Brexit plans continue to present a huge threat to jobs, investment and living standards in Scotland and Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories’ fulsome embrace of this prospect is truly shameless.”

Stewart Stevenson
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