Falkirk MP hits out at Tory government no deal ‘betrayal’ of farmers

Falkirk MP John McNally says farmers across the region feel “betrayed” by what he sees as a Tory plan for a no deal Brexit.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 11:09 am
The SNP - and the farmers' union - fear Scotch Beef would be among products hammered by tariffs under a no deal Brexit.

The UK government has announced plans to remove import tariffs in the event of a no deal outcome, which the SNP and the National Farmers Union say puts home grown produce at a “crippling” disadvantage.

Mr McNally said: “Local farmers will quite rightly feel betrayed by the conscious decision of this Tory government to sell-out Scottish produce.

“Amost half of our exports go to Europe, so a No Deal Brexit would be seriously damaging for Scottish businesses, jobs and the economy”.

He says leaving without a deal means farmers would face the EU’s Common External Tariff - with tariffs of around 84 per cent on Scotch Beef, 53 per cent on wheat, 48 per cent on Scotch Lamb and 30 per cent on pork.

Mr McNally added: “It’s no exaggeration to say that a No Deal will devastate key sectors of our local economy”.

“The SNP has consistently called for Scotland to remain in the EU so that we can maintain free trade, with no tariffs or other barriers that we currently benefit from within Europe’s Single Market.”

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “Setting a low or zero tariff rate on the importation of key agricultural products, like cereals, eggs, pork, fruit and veg and some dairy produce will place many of our farmers at a significant disadvantage and undermine any efforts to negotiate new trade arrangements.

“Exports of Scottish produce like lamb and beef to the EU face the prospect of crippling tariffs as we are forced to operate to WTO rules.

“When we have the ambition to double the size of the farming, food and drink industry in Scotland to £30 billion, the tariff schedule, as proposed by the Government, would place that ambition in jeopardy.”