Falkirk district farmers heading for ‘the brink of disaster’

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Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald is backing the National Farmers Union Scotland demand that a no-deal Brexit must be ruled out completely.

The NFUS - echoing the concerns in other key industry sectors - says leaving the EU without a deal would be “catastrophic for Scotland’s farmers and crofters”.

Angus MacDonald said: “The UK government is taking Falkirk district’s farmers to the brink of a Brexit disaster – a no-deal Brexit would be deeply damaging for jobs, businesses and livelihoods here in my Falkirk East constituency.

“It should never be overlooked that farming in Falkirk district makes a significant contribution to the local economy.

“With Theresa May’s Brexit deal dead in the water, the Tories must put their narrow-minded party in-fighting to one side and focus on limiting the negative impact that leaving the EU will have on rural Scotland.

“It’s time for the UK government to listen to the concerns of our local farmers, take a no-deal Brexit off the table and extend the Article 50 process.”

In a speech to NFUS members, president Andrew McCornick said: “No deal means a hard Brexit and this means the UK falling out of Europe on March 30 and the application of World Trade Organisation tariffs.

“Under a WTO regime the rules will deliver no continuity on what we are currently doing for many key sectors of our economy. This means massive disruption, amongst which will be the introduction of tariffs.

“Agriculture and agri-food will be the most seriously affected where the highest tariff rates are found.

“Red meat for example would see tariffs of around 40 per cent.”

The SNP have backed calls for the UK government to extend Article 50 and bring forward legislation for a second EU referendum.