WE ALL KNOW ABOUT OIL AND GAS BUT WHAT ABOUT AGRICULTURE?
Agriculture and Food play a vital role in the Scottish economy. They provide a huge number of jobs, the quality of our produce is very highly regarded, putting our beef sector and the Aberdeen Angus label in particular as the top premium brand worldwide.
Now we know that while huge deposits of oil and gas are located in Scottish waters, we also know that Westminster has ensured Scots have little say in how it is developed and that very little benefit in wealth terms is derived by Scotland.
You would think we would have learned from that experience. The overwhelming lesson above all being not to allow England to have any say in important industries in Scotland.
Why? Because they only understand the cost of everything and the value of nothing. The more so if there is a quick buck to be made. No matter the long term damage, that will be someone else’s problem, just give them what they want now is their mantra.
I have bad news they are in the process of completely destroying our meat and dairy sector. First some figures
So what is this? This is a comparison between the deal New Zealand has with the EU and the new deal they have agreed with the UK. THIS IS A TARIFF FREE AGREEMENT.
The figures for the EU means the entire EU yet as you can see the new UK AGREEMENT, from the start allows substantially more imports into the UK than the entire EU and very quickly becomes a completely unregulated market where any quantity of meat and cheese can be imported totally tariff free.
As reported in the NZ media “ They are mad. This is a great deal. It wasn’t a negotiation they just said Yes to everything”
And they had no doubt about the impact it would have “This is a great deal for us, for the UK not so much”.
They are right of course there are going to be big losers from this deal and the location for a lot of the losers will be in Scotland.
This is the clearest evidence of different priorities. England is Europe’s largest food importer. Scotland, in contrast is a food exporter. England sees no problem with cheap imports, that the by product of that is the destruction of the Scottish meat and dairy sectors is of little worry. As the English are already hugely dependent on imports, food security is of less importance to them that it is to Scotland. Security is a big deal in this, while the UK spends billions on Trident decisions like this makes the UK VULNERABLE to every geopolitical crisis and totally reliant on food supplies from the other end of the World. Strategically it is madness. But that is Brexit for you. We will see how much “ control” the UK has when one of those geo political crises arrive. Like maybe some problems with China over Taiwan?
Now I am really going to worry you all. I have very limited knowledge and contacts in the meat sector so I asked a friend to find out what Scottish meat producers knew about this. What he discovered was very alarming. He contacted a leading breeder of the Aberdeen Angus breed and supplied him with the above figures. His reaction was it would be hugely destructive to beef and lamb production in Scotland. He then asked my friend “where did you get these forecasts?” When my friend explained these were not forecasts but the specific figures from the signed deal between the UK and New Zealand he was in absolute shock. He said “ I knew nothing of this. The industry knows nothing about this. It will have horrendous impact in Scotland”
So the cost of being part of the UK is not only Brexit, which is proving to be an absolute disaster for our fish and shellfish industries, we also have a UK Government that signs up deals that are catastrophic for our meat and dairy industry.
So to put it in a nutshell, England controls our oil and gas and we get no benefit, our renewable power is transferred south at little or no cost to consumers while Scottish producers have to pay obscene charges to connect to the grid. Our key food sectors are now being betrayed by London as they welcome transforming Scotland to being hugely dependent on food imports, the same as they are, allowing the spivs in the City of London to get their cut from the imports. How long before we find out what Tory was the driving force of this giant mistake….for everyone, bar him or her?
Until now Scotland was the only country in the UK with a positive balance of trade. London is now taking steps to ensure that can’t continue. Why some Scots fail to recognise this is beyond me.
So Scotland’s elected representatives, I have heard nothing about this from you yet it’s going to adversely affect many of your constituents. It is way past time you did the job you were elected to do…protect Scotland’s interests!
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
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