Joan McAlpine MSP used Parliamentary questions to raise concerns over the effect losing access to the EU Single Market could have on Scotland’s red meat exports.
Responding the Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“Approximately 80% of Scotland’s red meat exports are destined for the EU. Figures from the industry show that the value of these exports is approximately £73 million.
“If Scotland was subject to current tariffs that apply to countries outside the EU then the same volume of beef and lamb would cost around 50% more.
“In a highly competitive market the consequences could be profound with potentially much reduced sales or lower prices paid to our primary producers.”
Ms McAlpine also raised concerns over the knock on effect of this for red meat producers in the region, saying the potential impact on livelihoods was very worrying.
Mr Yousaf said that only 4.8% of Scotland’s red meat exports currently go to countries outwith the EU through free trade agreements, so the effect on meat producers across the south of Scotland if the UK leaves the Single Market could be profound.
Commenting, Joan McAlpine said:
“These figures highlight that the Tories push for a ‘hard-brexit’ is entirely ill-conceived.
“We must work together to ensure continued access to the Single Market in order to protect meat producers in the region, and across Scotland.”
The full text of the exchange will be available here.