SNP MSP Bruce Crawford has criticised the UK Government, following Downing Street’s latest statement regarding staying in the Customs Union following Brexit.

 

A Downing Street source said:

 

“We will not be staying in the Customs Union or joining a customs union…”

 

However, the NFU Scotland have since released a statement condemning the Tory position. NFUS Chief Executive, Scott Walker said:

 

“Trade with Europe is important to us, as are the trade agreements that Europe already has in place with countries around the world.

“Continued membership of the customs union would allow us to keep frictionless free trade with Europe while allowing us access to important world markets on terms that recognise the importance of maintaining domestic food production.”

 

The SNP are calling either the UK to remain in the Customs Union and the Single Market after Brexit, or for sufficient powers to be devolved to allow for Scotland to do so.

 

Commenting, Bruce Crawford – who also Convenes the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee – said:

 

“The negotiations over leaving the European Union have been nothing short of shambolic, however I am deeply concerned about how leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market will affect farms and farmers in my constituency.

 

“Neither the Stirling Constituency, nor Scotland voted to come out of the EU, however being put into the situation we are in, it must be approached with cool heads, not ideology, in order to gain the outcome that will do the least damage to our economy.

 

“It has already been confirmed by the Tory Brexit Secretary, David Davis, that reverting to World Trade Organisation rules would mean high tariffs on exporting products such as Scotch Beef and Lamb as well as dairy. This would be a severe blow to local farmers across the Stirling area.

 

“Staying in the Customs Union and the Single Market is the sure way to continue frictionless trade with the EU – our immediate neighbours and physically the easiest countries for us to sell our products to.

 

“Nobody voted in the EU referendum to be poorer as a result, it’s time the Tory Government stopped listening to their ideology-driven Brexiteers and started listening to the concerns of those representing farmers on such a critical matter.”