Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has written to the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, to demand that he back Scotland’s membership of the European Single Market.
The call comes after a report by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) that researched the impact of beef, sheep, dairy and crop farms under the following three scenarios:
- A bespoke free trade deal with the EU (similar to, but not the same as, the Single Market)
- World Trade Organisation (WTO) default Most Favoured Nation tariffs
- Unilateral trade liberalisation
The report finds that Scotland’s farmers would be worse off under each scenario when compared to the current trade arrangement under the European Single Market.
In his letter to Mr Gove, Mr Crawford said:
“It is self-evident that, should the UK leave the EU, Scotland must stay in the Single Market in order to protect the interests of farmers like those in my constituency. I sincerely hope that given this extensive and compelling analysis that you will agree with me that Scotland’s best interests are served as part of the Single Market.”
Commenting, Mr Crawford said:
“After a fully published impact analysis report from the Scottish Government, a leaked impact analysis report from the UK Government, and now research from the SRUC, it is clear that this destructive hard Brexit path will only serve to seriously damage local businesses with considerable impact to the many farms in my constituency.
“Hardline Tory Brexiteers accused the Scottish Government of scaremongering on this matter, yet their own Party’s Government’s analysis is even more damning for our economy. The expert evidence is there and we cannot sit back and allow ideology to dictate what direction this country is taken in.
“This is not a game – this is the future of people’s livelihoods in my constituency.
“The Scottish Government has previously produced proposals that would feasibly keep Scotland in the Single Market if the UK does leave the European Union. With the wealth of evidence pointing to economic hardship for farmers and other local businesses upon a hard Brexit, Tory UK Government Ministers must take these proposals seriously.
“Common sense must be what guides us through this Brexit mess, not the political dogma laid down by Tory hardliners who appear to be the ones in the driving seat.”
Read Bruce’s letter to Michael Gove: