Commenting on reports in the Guardian that the (English) National Farmers Union has warned of ‘catastrophic’ consequences for the farming export industry for 6 months after March 2019 if there is no Brexit deal, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil said:

“This is obviously worrying for many people in our islands, but it is no surprise in some circles as it is what the UK Government has been hearing from farmers and veterinary bodies for some time.  The alarm is compounded by the fact that only this week Prime Minister Theresa May was back with her silly, daft and wrong mantra that no deal was better than a bad deal – no deal is the worst possible scenario, it is definitely the worst for crofters and farmers.

“It is all the more sickening for us to watch from the side-lines and to realise because of the decisions made on Scottish Independence in 2014, we in Scotland do not have a voice in this.

“We are at the mercy of events and choices made in London which is really not where we want to be, I am certain Irish agriculture would not want to trade places with those in Scotland. Crofters will have rams going to the sheep in the next 4/5 weeks, who knows what problems we will have next autumn if there is no deal and the UK crashes out of the EU and also associated trade deals with another 67 countries in March 2019, something that will also probably impact the fish and shellfish exporting sector in the very same way as agriculture.

“This really is a sign of the misgovernance from Westminster in the hands of the Tories.  The hollowness of Better Together probably doesn’t ring clearer anywhere than it does for the crofting and farming situation at the moment when all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that whatever games are being played in London do not have a terrible impact on crofting and farming and more widely in seafood exports.”