Clarity needed for Aberdeenshire food producers

Tractor, trailer and combine harvester in a field

The UK Government has been urged to provide clarity for Scotland’s food producers following the vote to leave the EU.

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford raised the topic with the Prime Minister on Monday following his statement on the Outcome of the EU Referendum.

Concerns have been raised across Scotland, which exported £4.8bn worth of food and drink in 2015, much of it to Europe. Banff and Buchan could face particular challenges following Brexit, given the region’s significant agricultural and fish processing sectors.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Whiteford said

It is vital that we work to protect local jobs and economic interests in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Key sectors, notably in food production and processing, face considerable uncertainty, as many local firms export produce and depend on access to European markets. Many also rely on migrant workers to meet labour shortages and seasonal demands.

While the Prime Minister was able to offer short term assurances about market access and the status of EU nationals working here, he was not able to outline any timescale for negotiations to resolve these issues.

I will be meeting stakeholders in the days and weeks ahead to identify their chief concerns, and working with the Scottish Government to secure the best deal possible for our local industries. It is critical that we fight to defend the interests of Scotland’s people and the industries on which our livelihoods depend in the days ahead.

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