UK: Complete Parity Is Necessary to Resolve Seed Potato Export Issue
National Farmers Union Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on exporting Scottish seed potatoes to the EU and Northern Ireland (NI), calling for UK Governments to focus on and explore all possible avenues to reopen the EU and NI markets to ensure reciprocal arrangements in accordance with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) are in place as soon as possible and that there is equivalence across all imports and exports.
The Union also stated that it was fully supportive of Scottish Government’s proposal to work across Great Britain to develop a thriving and self-contained seed potato market.
This will help address the ongoing disadvantage being experienced by Scotland’s seed potato businesses following the loss of established markets in NI and the EU post Brexit.
With regard to the consultation proposal about examining a ‘Scotland-specific’ agreement with the EU, the Union was categorical in its response that this is not a valuable use of resources across Governments or of benefit to the sector, would be against the UK Internal Market Act 2020, and that the priority activity should be channeled into resolving the current disparity and building a prosperous, sustainable market.
Commenting on the Union’s consultation response, Martin Kennedy, NFU Scotland President said; “We have welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on seed potato exports. Our principal response is that securing an agreement under the TCA as soon as possible is essential as time is of the essence. Seed potato growers across the UK are being severely impacted by the continued blocking of the UK’s application for equivalency, which is incompatible with the TCA.