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24 November 2017

Top Scottish Food Producer Demands Post-Brexit Clarity

North-East Tories Give Up On Scotland's Interests In Commons Vote

One of Scotland’s largest food producers, Scotbeef, has called for greater clarity from the UK Government on what the post-Brexit marketplace will look like.

The latest intervention from the company’s Managing Director comes a full year after the leading Scotch Beef and Lamb exporter’s first call for certainty fell on deaf ears.

This week, the North-east Tory MPs voted against protecting the UK’s membership of the customs union that would have enabled Scottish producers to continue exporting and importing goods from the EU without the obstacle of trade tariffs.

Over and above the uncertainty surrounding trading conditions – Scottish farmers rely heavily on EU support, with CAP payments accounting for around two-thirds of net farm income in Scotland.

Commenting, local SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“The future of Scotland’s rural economy is on the line.

“Scotbeef, like many other significant Scottish producers, is fast losing patience with the Tory Government’s dithering and inaction, which is damaging our food and drinks industry’s ability to plan for the future.

“Scottish Labour MPs this week failed to oppose the Scottish Tories’ plans to rip Scotland out of the customs union, despite an abundance of evidence showing the damage this will cause our economy, threatening jobs and living standards.

“North-east Tory MPs have betrayed Scotland’s rural economy, which, like many other sectors, relies on tariff-free access to the market place to survive.

“The SNP will continue to stand up for Scotland's farmers, and the thousands of jobs they support, while also providing support to boost Scotland’s exports. Exports to the EU27 are growing at a faster rate than exports to the rest of the world, and the SNP will continue to recognise the importance of the single market to our rural economy.

“The Tory Government must urgently wake up to the reality of what removing our trading businesses from the single market actually means and end the drive towards a hard Brexit cliff edge.”
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