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Monday, July 15, 2024

Brexit Damage to Scottish Agriculture Laid Bare

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New expert evidence has highlighted how damaging post-Brexit free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand have been to the Scottish agriculture sector.

Asked by SNP MSP Kate Forbes at Holyrood’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture committee if there have been any winners in Scottish agriculture from free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, experts from the National Farmers Union Scotland responded “from the primary producer’s point of view, no.”

Additionally “by and large for most sectors that will be impacted by the cumulative effects of the free trade agreement… particularly around red meat, dairy, horticulture to a degree… grain to a degree, there are no winners.”

This follows on from previous research which outlined that both the Australian and New Zealand deals will exert significant pressure on sectors that are vital components of Scotland’s rural economy.

Commenting, SNP MSP Kate Forbes said:

“The expert evidence from the NFUS was absolutely damning – post Brexit trade deals with Australia and New Zealand are damaging Scotland’s agriculture sector.

“These deals are having a disproportionate impact on rural Scotland.

“The farmers and producers who work tirelessly to produce world class food live with the threat of being undercut by an influx of cheap produce due to trade agreements signed by a Westminster government which has displayed contempt for Scottish agriculture.

“At the upcoming general election, the Tories will have to explain to Scotland’s farmers why they’ve deemed their ideological Brexit crusade more important than people’s livelihoods.

“As long as Westminster is in charge Scotland’s interests will always lose out – these trade agreements must be urgently re-negotiated to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Scottish agriculture sector.”

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