The SNP has called for the Tory government to deliver a major compensation package for farmers, producers and exporters of meat – after produce worth hundreds of thousands has been left rotting at the border due to Brexit costs, red tape and bureaucracy.
A report in today’s Times underlines the damage done to farmers and producers, with meat exporters warning the industry is being crippled by Brexit red tape.
DH Foods said it had five containers of fresh pork stuck in Rotterdam for a fortnight “completely rotten” due to added paperwork.
Another exporter said it had 115 tonnes of meat – valued at £500,000 – impounded in Calais.
It comes as the British Meat Processor Association warned meat exports to the EU are at 20% of normal levels and said:
“The new post-Brexit customs system for meat products is convoluted, archaic and badly implemented.
“If continental supermarkets are unable to have products delivered the way they need them to be, this trade will simply be lost as EU customers abandon UK suppliers and source product from European processors.”
At the same time, buyers in the EU have said they are looking at alternative suppliers in Europe, including Spain and Ireland.
French meat importer Fory Viandes told the BBC:
“The delays and extra costs mean me and my competitors in the market are obliged to start looking for other solutions.
“One of the solutions unfortunately is to try produce from other countries, Spain for instance.
“Some of our competitors are ordering lambs from Ireland instead of the UK, so the consequences for UK meat and UK lambs could be disastrous.”
Commenting, SNP Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Dave Doogan MP said:
“The Tory lies and broken promises on Brexit have been completely exposed as farmers, producers and exporters find their meat rotting at the border due to a mountain of extra costs, red tape and barriers to trade with Europe, the world’s largest single market.
“We have all seen the devastating impact Boris Johnson’s poor Brexit deal has had on our fishing industry but it is inflicting harm across every part of Scotland – with meat and food exporters losing millions of pounds in lost produce and sales due to added costs and delays.
“Three weeks have passed and the problems are increasing.
“The Tories are doing nothing to fix the fundamental problem, which is the added paperwork, bureaucracy and costs that their abysmal deal has created, including systems and processes that don’t work and were never properly tested.
“This is down to Tory incompetence and broken promises.
“They must fix the mess they created.
“The Tory government must deliver a multi-billion-pound package of compensation for Scotland – including major compensation for Scottish farmers, producers and meat exporters.
“We are seeing a tale of two Unions – with Ireland getting €1.05billion from the EU Brexit mitigation fund, while Scotland is yet to receive a single penny in compensation from the UK government.
“Scottish Government analysis shows Brexit could cost Scotland’s economy £9billion compared to EU membership.
“The Warwick study estimates it has already cost Scotland £3.94billion.
“Boris Johnson must bring forward a serious offer of compensation instead of the pittance so far.
“Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process and we are now being forced to pay a devastating price against our will.
“The only way to protect Scotland’s interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.”