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2 March 2020

Scots Tories Must Condemn Anti-Farming & Fishing Comments

Top Adviser's Remarks a Prelude to
"Biggest Betrayal in Scottish Political History"

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has today called on Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw to publicly dissociate himself and the party from the remarks of a senior Treasury adviser who said that Scottish agriculture and fishing “certainly isn’t” important.

Dr Tim Leunig, an adviser to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, has been condemned for the remarks - in which he also said the “food sector isn't critically important”.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“The Scottish Tories must publicly condemn these comments, which are a huge embarrassment for Jackson Carlaw and his MSPs.

“The remarks, from the heart of the UK Government, expose how little the Tories actually care about Scotland’s farming and fishing industries.

"They sold out our fishing fleet on the way into Europe when they said it was ‘expendable’, and now they are gearing up to sell it out again on the way out of the EU.

“The SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s farming and fishing industries. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clearer by the day that the Tories are lining up a sell-out of fishing, which will be the biggest betrayal in Scottish political history, while Scotland Office Ministers seem to think allowing sub-standard meat imports into the country is the way forward.

“Either they will fold in trade talks and break their promise to Scottish skippers, by allowing free access to Scottish waters for other EU fleets – or they will allow huge tariffs and red tape to be slapped on our seafood products, which would devastate the sector.”

Mr Stevenson added:

“Successive Westminster governments, Labour, Tory and Lib Dems in coalition, have consistently failed to stand up for Scotland’s fishing industry.

“When they’ve had the chance to fight the sector’s corner in Brussels, they’ve actively decided not to bother.

"Brexit now threatens to be utterly catastrophic for our fishing industry and the wider seafood sector – and every single Scottish Tory politician who repeated the bogus 'sea of opportunity' pledge must now be held to account for misleading the public."

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