No-deal ‘would cost food and drink sector £2bn a year’
Figures in the Scottish farming, food and drink industries have warned that a no-deal Brexit would cost the sector £2 billion in lost sales each year.
An open letter, signed by Scotland Food and Drink and other industry representatives, urged all political parties to rule out a no deal, warning it would bring labour shortages and transport chaos.
The letter says Scotland’s farming, food and drink industry is worth £14bn and “implores politicians of all parties to unite immediately and reject the option of a no deal Brexit.” It states: “Whilst recognising there is no political consensus yet on a future trade relationship with Europe, the potentially catastrophic impact of not reaching any deal is clear.
“We are collectively hugely ambitious for the growth of our industry. However, even using the UK Government’s own projections, we estimate the cost of no-deal to our industry would be at least £2bn in lost sales annually. That is on top of the shortterm chaos resulting from transport delays and labour shortages.
“By Parliament rejecting a no-deal scenario, our industry effort can focus on shaping a future relationship with the EU that we can work with, not preparing for the fallout we can’t. There is no tolerance for no-deal as an option. It must be rejected now.”
The letter was signed by James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink; Scott Walker, chief executive of NFU Scotland; Alan Clarke, chief executive of Quality Meat Scotland; David Thomson, chief executive of Food and Drink Federation Scotland; Julie HeskethLaird, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation; Alasdair Smith, chief executive of Scottish Bakers; and James Graham, chief executive of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society.