UK Government Must Extend Brexit Transition to Protect Rural Scotland

Scotland’s rural industries face a “double hammer blow” if the UK government refuses to extend the Brexit transition period in light of coronavirus, the SNP has said.

Analysis by the Scottish Government has found that agriculture and fishing sectors would face some of the highest trade costs if the transition period ends this year.

In the event of a No Deal Brexit at the end of the transition – which the EU has made clear can be extended by up to two years   – these sectors would also face tariffs and quotas when exporting to the EU.

Gillian Martin MSP (pictured) said:

“Rural Scotland cannot afford the double hammer blow of Brexit in the midst of a pandemic that is causing major economic disruption.

“This new research shows that Brexit will leave our crucial agricultural and fishing sectors among the hardest hit.

“Businesses here simply do not have the capacity to prepare for sky-high Brexit costs, when they are fighting to survive the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

“To push ahead without extending the transition period would be a shocking dereliction of duty by the UK government, leaving Scotland’s rural economy high and dry.

“An extension is available and Boris Johnson must change course before he inflicts a disastrous hard or no deal Brexit on Scotland in less than seven months’ time.”