Gordon MP Richard Thomson has urged Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack to intervene on his Cabinet colleagues to force a change in the UK Government’s post-Brexit policies which are wreaking havoc on our food and drink sectors.
Publicising the Taste of Scotland event, the Secretary of State boasted “the UK Government is equipping Scottish firms with the tools they need to take advantage of new export opportunities opening up around the globe.”
But Mr Thomson has said that Parliamentary Answers he received from Mr Jack just last week on the Scottish seed potato sector showed little evidence of any recognition of the threats facing seed potato exports as a result of Brexit.
Commenting, Gordon MP Richard Thomson said:
"Alister Jack may give the impression at events like these his department is working hard to get the UK Government to support Scottish food and drink. The reality, as evidenced by his rather vague and evasive answers to my Parliamentary Questions is somewhat different.
“The Scottish potato sector’s output contributes over £208 million to the economy and exports to over 40 countries worldwide, so it is of vital importance. The reality is its export market has been taken away from it - they cannot even export to Northern Ireland as a result of a policy made in Westminster.
"If the Secretary of State wants to show support for the Scottish food and drink industry he should use this event to explain in detail how he will personally intervene on his UK Government colleagues to get a change in the disastrous policy which has created these conditions.
“Businesses in the North-east need action now. If Westminster is unable or willing to make this right then they should give the Scottish Parliament the powers to do so. No-one should be in any doubt that our own Parliament would always put the livelihoods of the people of Scotland first.”