Peter O Donnghaile
Labour, Ross, Skye and Lochaber
It is in the best interests of the UK to negotiate the softest possible Brexit. Economic instability is not in the interests of the small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) which generate 60 per cent of GDP.
No- one can make good strategic business decisions in a market which has become utterly unpredictable – the position that all UK SMEs are now in, whether they recognise it or not.
In terms of Ross, Skye and Lochaber, tourism is a big cash generator and many of our smallest businesses – such as seasonal B&Bs – produce invisible exports. Our agricultural industry will be vital to our national food security out of the EU, but is threatened by loss of the EU export market for our primary meat products and the risk of being forced to accept ‘dumping’ of those same products as part of any potential trade deal with the US.
East coast fishermen have long complained about access by other EU nations to their ‘home grounds’, but fail to acknowledge that much of our west coast inshore catch of crustaceans goes as live export to mainland Europe- predominantly France and Spain. Leaving the single market threatens jobs across the UK.
As for indyref2, I voted yes in 2014, but will not do so again. I was born in England, raised near the Welsh border and always thought of Wales and England as separate countries – but both British. I view Scotland in the same light.
My target for the first year as an MP is to ensure Brexit does not destabilise the local economy.