The National Farmers’ Union of Scotland has released a statement strongly criticising the UK Government’s refusal to reconsider its decision to leave the EU Customs Union.
The statement said that “Continued membership of the customs union would allow us to keep frictionless free trade with Europe while allowing us access to important world markets on terms that recognise the importance of maintaining domestic food production.”
The Union’s Livestock Committee Chair, Charlie Adam, added: “It’s clear that any option other than a customs union could see the imposition of non-tariff barriers, such as border checks, and these could be severely detrimental to the trade of fresh food.”
Commenting, Ian Murray MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“Farmers and agricultural businesses are almost unanimous in their opposition to this Government’s madcap insistence on quitting the Customs Union. They know it will do huge damage to their industry and could permanently decimate the UK’s world-leading agricultural sector.
“Not only will leaving the Customs Union make selling British agricultural products abroad harder and more expensive, it also opens up the possibility of the UK being flooded with cheap, low-quality imports from abroad, undercutting our domestic producers.
“The Brexit promised to farmers did not involve their livelihoods being decimated in order to pursue an ideological agenda. If the Brexit being delivered isn’t what was promised, then farmers and everyone else are entitled to demand a People’s Vote on the terms of any Brexit deal.”
Notes to editors
The full statement from NFU Scotland can be read here.