Rural Scotland could face a Brexit impact likened to “21st century Highland Clearances”, according to a new report by the Highlands & Islands Agriculture Support Group.
The report, looking at the impact of Brexit on Scottish Agriculture, has warned that failure to provide financial support to farmers and crofters in the Highlands and Islands post Brexit could accelerate declining agriculture activity and cause the workforce to shrink, leading to a modern version of the Highland Clearances.
Commenting, Argyll and Bute MP, Brendan O’Hara said:
“Brexit is undoubtedly going to be the biggest challenge the Scottish farming industry has faced for generations, and this new report underlines the scale of the challenge.”
“Scottish food and drink has been an enormous success story, particularly in Argyll and Bute and that success has been built on our place in the single market and the Common Agriculture Policy.”
“Farming and crofting is instrumental to the economy, people, environment of Argyll and Bute and this report shows just how vulnerable this industry really is.”
“We mustn’t forget that people in Argyll and Bute voted decisively to remain part of the European Union and this report reaffirms that Scotland’s interested are being left behind by the UK Government.”
The report concluded that loss of direct subsidy support and the adoption of a cheap food policy, whereby unilateral tariff-free trade deals are created, would be catastrophic to the Highlands and Islands region.
Post Brexit Implications for Agriculture and Associated Land Use in the Highlands and Islands
At the launch of @SRUC report into impact of #Brexit on Highlands & Islands agriculture. Group chair opens by saying we could be facing “21st century Highland clearances”…..