SNP MP for Stirling, Alyn Smith, has demanded an apology from International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, over the severe loss of trade following the end of the Brexit transition period.
Mr Smith quoted figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which show:
- Meat exports remain down by 52%
- Fish and shellfish down 54%
- Dairy and eggs down 39%
- Beverages down 34%
- Cereals down 40%
- Fruit and veg down 54%
Rather than apologising, the Minister attempted to spin the figures to suggest trade had increased as a result of Brexit.
Alyn Smith MP said:
‘I raised a serious point in parliament with one of the ministers responsible, and rather than facing up to the reality of what his government has done to our trade with the EU, he responded with bluster and spin.
‘In my own constituency, farmers and producers are feeling the harsh effects of this situation. Our local produce is sold across the world, but we know that Europe was Scotland’s fastest growing market.
‘This loss in trade could have a snowballing effect throughout entire industries, right when we need to be supporting businesses and jobs as we recover from Covid.
‘Their refusal to face up to and take responsibility for this situation makes me anxious that they’re not taking this entirely seriously. We’re talking about potentially tens of thousands of thousands of Scottish jobs that rely on this trade with the EU.’