Peter O Don­ng­haile

Labour, Ross, Skye and Lochaber

The Oban Times - - Election Special -

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.

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