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Farmers being "betrayed" by Tories, claims MSP

By Alistair Whitfield

MSP Richard Lochhead
MSP Richard Lochhead

RICHARD Lochhead has said that farmers across Moray will feel "betrayed" by the Tory Government’s latest plans for a No Deal Brexit.

The UK government has this week announced plans to remove import tariffs in the event of a No Deal – a move that Moray's MSP says puts home-grown produce at a serious disadvantage.

More than half of all Scottish goods exports were sent to Europe in the last quarter.

Mr Lochhead says that leaving without a deal means farmers will face the EU’s Common External Tariff – with tariffs of around 84% on Scotch Beef, 53% on wheat, 48% on Scotch Lamb and 30% on pork.

The MSP said: "Local farmers will quite rightly feel betrayed by the conscious decision of this Tory government to sell-out Scottish produce by applying tariffs on imports way below what will be applied to our own exports.

"Almost half of our exports go to Europe, so a No Deal Brexit would be seriously damaging for Scottish businesses, jobs and the economy.

"With tariffs of up to 84% on our world renowned Scotch Beef and almost 50% on Scotch Lamb, it’s no exaggeration to say that a No Deal will devastate key sectors in Moray.

"Farming and our food and drink industry is vital to rural economies in Scotland.

"Places like Moray cannot afford for our agricultural sector to be thrown under a bus by Boris Johnson.

"This whole sorry state of affairs is the price our local farmers will pay for being taken out of the European Single Market and Customs Union by the Conservatives against our will and illustrates why Scotland should remain in these trade agreements."

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