The SNP has said Boris Johnson has “betrayed” Scottish farmers and crofters with Tory plans for a post-Brexit trade deal that threatens the interests of Scotland’s agricultural sector.
Responding to the news the Tory government is to offer Australia a deal, which will give tariff and quota-free access to Australian beef and lamb, Ian Blackford MP said the move showed “Scotland’s interests have been thrown under the Brexit bus”.
The SNP Westminster Leader said the move threatened the viability of many Scottish farms and crofts by undercutting the price and standards of Scottish beef and lamb, and could “wreck the way of life that has existed across Scotland for generations”.
It comes as Australia’s biggest beef exporter predicted it could increase UK sales by tenfold under a zero tariff, zero quota trade deal of the kind being proposed by the Tory government.
Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“Boris Johnson has utterly betrayed Scottish farmers and crofters with a post-Brexit trade deal that threatens the viability of Scottish lamb and beef farming, and could wreck a way of life that has existed across Scotland for generations.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Tory government is threatening to impose a deal that would undercut the price and standards of Scottish beef and lamb – putting Scottish farmers out of business.
“Yet again, Scotland’s interests have been thrown under the Brexit bus – just as they were when the Tories sold out our fishing communities, and dragged Scotland out of the EU against our will.
“Brexit has already cost Scotland billions of pounds, and this Tory deal would be a disaster for our agricultural sector.
“There is a very real danger that many farmers will lose their livelihoods, rural businesses will collapse, and families will be driven off the land.
“The SNP will continue to stand up for Scotland’s agricultural sector but it is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect our farming industry is for Scotland to become an independent country with the full powers to defend and promote Scotland’s interests.”