MP WARNS BREXIT COULD MAKE A “DESERT” OF RURAL SCOTLAND
KERR LEADS IN PARLIAMENT ON IMPACT OF LEAVING EUROPE
Calum Kerr, the MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, has used a debate at Westminster to highlight the ‘devastating consequences’ Brexit could have on the economy of rural Scotland.
On Tuesday (17th) Mr Kerr, in his capacity as the SNP’s Rural Affairs Spokesperson, led an opposition day debate on the potential damage facing rural communities and businesses across Scotland.
Speaking in Parliament shortly after the Prime Minster outlined her intention to pursue a “Hard Brexit” option during negotiations with the EU, the Borders MP said:
“Our debate today is necessary to ensure that the government does not overlook or downplay all of the possible outcomes of Brexit. They must not walk away from the policy vacuum that is opening up before our eyes.”
“The combined threats of the loss of direct funding, an end to tariff-free trading and the abolition of free movement of people, could have devastating consequences for rural communities across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
Mr Kerr highlighted claims made by Farming Minister George Eustice (who supported Brexit) that after leaving the EU the UK government would: “continue to give farmers and the environment as much support - or perhaps even more - as they get now."
However, in recent statements the government has refused to commit to CAP-equivalent funding beyond 2020.
''This commitment has already been abandoned. Throughout last year’s referendum campaign, both the Secretary of State and the Farming Minister argued for Brexit. It is now incumbent upon them to take responsibility for the commitments they made during that campaign.”
Mr Kerr also called on the government to outline how it will mitigate the impact of losing tariff-free access to the European Single Market before Article 50 is triggered.
‘’It looks increasingly likely that this Tory government, with no mandate for the damage it may cause, will wreck Scotland’s rural economy.
‘’So will the UK government recognise the potentially devastating impact that their actions could have on the Scottish rural economy, or will they be content to make a desert of rural Scotland in the name of Brexit?
The full text of Mr Kerr’s speech is available here: http://www.calumkerr.scot/news/2017/1/18/calum-kerrs-speech-on-the-impact-of-leaving-the-eu-on-the-rural-economy