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Tory threat to Scottish agriculture

June 21, 2017


The Tory threat to Scotland’s rural communities looms large as Edinburgh prepares for the opening of the Royal Highland Show this week – with the start of Brexit negotiations bringing to sharp focus the importance of single market membership to Scotland’s agriculture sector.
Tory plans for a hard Brexit are set to come at the expense of rural Scotland – with plans to rip the UK out of the single market and customs union likely to harm exports of Scotland’s world-class produce and limit the number of migrants, who are vital to agriculture and tourism industries.
The SNP has always defended the rights of migrant workers to continue to come and work in Scotland, and we are holding the Tories to account on post-Brexit plans over CAP payments, modernising crofting and calling on the Tories to release £190 million of CAP convergence funds to Scottish farmers.
Commenting, SNP MSP Gail Ross, who is Deputy Convener of Holyrood’s Rural Economy Committee, said:
“This week sees the annual Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, which always showcases the very best of Scottish farming and food and drink – but the damage that Tory policies are set to cause to our rural economy is deeply concerning.
“The threat posed by the Tories to Scotland’s rural economy has never been clearer, particularly following the appointment of Michael Gove as the UK’s Rural Secretary as we enter Brexit talks – and he has already cancelled long-standing meetings with the Scottish Government, showing again his complete contempt for Scotland’s interests.
“The Tory government’s plans for an extreme Brexit, ripping the whole of the UK out of the single market and customs union, will have a fundamentally damaging impact on Scotland – harming the ability of our producers to export their world class food and drink to European markets, and limiting the number of workers able to come here and continue making a vital contribution to our agriculture and tourism sectors.
“The plans are a stark contrast to the positive action taken by the SNP in recent years – where we have been decisive in our efforts to support our agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors and to boost our food and drink industry which has seen exports grow to record levels.
“The SNP has always stood up for rural Scotland – and we will continue to do so in the face of a dangerous Tory agenda that threatens our rural communities.”

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