A study from the SRUC has confirmed that leaving the single market and customs union poses a serious risk to Scottish farming.
The report – published on Monday – found that in every scenario examined, Scotland’s farmers would be worse off compared to under the current trade arrangement, with some or all producers facing lower returns.
The study analysed the potential economic impact of three post-Brexit trade scenarios on four farm types – beef, sheep, dairy and crops. Including; a Bespoke free trade deal with the EU similar to the single market; World Trade Organisation default Most Favoured Nation tariffs, and; Unilateral trade liberalisation.
Commenting, South Scotland MSP Emma Harper said:
“This study confirms once again what the SNP has been saying all along – leaving the single market and customs union poses a serious risk to Scottish farming.
“The SRUC raises serious concerns, particularly in relation to beef and sheep farming. The model predicts that the national beef herd could shrink by up to 28% and the sheep flock by 56% depending on the trade and policy scenario.
“The findings reiterate how vulnerable hill farming systems are to trade deals and policy choices.
“Meanwhile, David Mundell’s silence has been deafening in the face of a series of grim predictions for Scotland’s economic future post-Brexit.
“Just after the EU referendum, he pledged to protect Scotland’s interests and to get the best deal for Scotland – which in his words – ‘involves being part of the Single Market’. It’s time he stood by his words, and delivered on his promise to the people of Scotland.
“Mr Mundell is fast losing credibility and authority when it comes to standing up for Scotland, given he has now also been shunned from Theresa May’s Brexit ‘war cabinet’- as well as his promise to bring forward amendments to the EU Bill, which he failed to do.
“Far from the cries of ‘scaremongering’ from the Tory party, the UK government’s own Brexit analysis almost mirrors the Scottish Government’s analysis published last month which conveyed that the only plausible Brexit scenario, based on existing EU arrangements, is that Scotland and the UK will be much worse off.
Link to SRUC research: https://www.sruc.ac.uk/ScotfarmBrexit