Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon has written to Minister of State at DEFRA George Eustice seeking urgent clarification and assurance that Scottish seed potatoes can continue to be exported to third countries, such as Egypt, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
This is all the more urgent given that the UK will not be a listed third country for seed and other plant propagating material if the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario and will therefore be unable to continue our exports to the EU.
“Scotland currently exports around 20,000 tonnes of seed potatoes to the EU and 30-40,000 tonnes annually to Egypt under current trading arrangements. In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, Scottish seed potatoes will be prohibited from entering the EU market.
“With just over two weeks to go until a potential ‘no deal’, we are seeking urgent clarity from the UK Government on the potential impact on our farmers ability to trade with lucrative third country markets, such as Egypt which will result from changes in our trading relationships.
“Scotland’s seed potatoes are world renowned and we must find a way to mitigate the devastating impact leaving the European Union will have.”