Brexit ‘shambles’ threatens genuine Scots produce, says Falkirk East MSP

scotch beef
scotch beef

Genuine Scots produce such as Scotch Beef - frequently lauded as among the finest in the world - risks being undermined by new UK trade deals.

That’s the view of Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, after protection of Scottish products was apparently ignored in recent overseas deals.

The SNP man, whose own family was involved in Scots food production for 70 years, complains the UK governmment failed to underline the need for protection of key Scots products in EU deals with Canada, Japan and Mexico,

Scottish produce has a stellar international reputation, but its very popularity is seen as making it a prime target for rip-off fake substitutes - as in the country’s best known protected product Scotch Whisky.

Fakes run the gamut from the sophisticated to the crude, as in one alleged brand, “Black and White Scotch Whisko, brewed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace” which attracted industry attention some years ago.

Mr MacDonald says he’s alarmed that what’s seen as an obvious prerequisite for any UK trade deals seems to have been ignored.

UK environment secretary Michael Gove has been pressed for clarification, following on from an earlier approach to his predecessor, Angela Leadsom, which is said to have drawn no response.

Meanwhile Mr Gove has also been accused of refusing to guarantee that £700million in funding for Scotland’s vulnerable hill farmers, forestry industries and crofters will stay be paid out after Brexit.

Mr MacDonald said: “The Tories have repeatedly failed to stand up for Scotland’s interests throughout this whole Brexit process.

“The EU Protected Food Name scheme has safeguarded high quality Scottish products such as Scotch Lamb, Scotch Beef and Stornoway Black Pudding from cheap knock-offs.

“But Michael Gove seems all too willing to take this protection away from Scottish producers and open the floodgates to cheaper products appearing on our supermarket shelves from overseas.

“We cannot gamble with Scotland’s £14 billion food and drink sector, where provenance of product is paramount, and allow cheaper imitations to undercut our first class, wholesome produce.

“The UK government must meaningfully engage with the devolved governments to ensure that their interests are protected.

“We cannot let Westminster’s Brexit shambles leave Scottish producers high and dry in the global trading marketplace.”