No deal Brexit “catastrophic” for farmers says NFUS

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President of the National Farmers Union Scotland, Andrew McCornick, has called on the UK government to rule out a no-deal Brexit claiming leaving the EU without a deal would be “catastrophic for Scotland’s farmers and crofters”.

In a speech to NFUS members, 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 Organization 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.”

Commenting, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie said: “The UK government is taking Scotland’s farmers and crofters to the brink of a Brexit disaster – a no-deal Brexit would be deeply damaging for jobs, businesses and livelihoods here in Midlothian.

“With Theresa May’s Brexit deal dead in the water, the Tories must put their narrow-minded party infighting 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.”