No Deal Must Be Avoided at All Costs Says Scottish Livestock Sector

Scottish farmers and crofters caution against a ‘no deal’ Brexit

With beef prices already at an unsustainable level, NFU Scotland’s Livestock Committee Chairman is warning that the shock of a ‘no deal’ Brexit must be avoided at all costs.

According to NFUS, an overnight change to the trading situation for beef and lamb would have a detrimental impact on the returns being received by Scottish cattle and sheep farmers.

Recently, NFU Scotland highlighted the need for the UK Government to change its approach to tariffs in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.  Ultimately, the Union believes that a ‘no deal’ must be avoided to prevent major market disruption.

Livestock Committee Chairman Jimmy Ireland, who farms beef cattle and sheep in Ayrshire, said: “The possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit is a massive concern for the Scottish livestock sector.  Cattle and sheep farm incomes will be severely damaged by the major negative impacts of a sudden change to trading relations between the UK and the European Union.

“If this happens on 31 October then, given the overnight disruption that would happen to the lamb trade, there must be an emergency aid package which supports the sheep sector in the event of significant pressure on the farm gate price.  

“NFU Scotland’s Livestock Committee recently agreed that emergency aid should prioritise supporting the price of prime lambs, to support finishers, while also directing a portion of emergency support toward breeding ewes to preserve the nation’s breeding flock.

“On beef, we have repeatedly warned the UK Government that the tariff approach scheduled to be adopted in the event of a no deal outcome would expose the UK to imports of beef from third countries.  This is unacceptable and the Government must protect Scotland’s high standards of beef production.

“Partly as a result of Brexit uncertainty, the current beef price remains completely unsustainable and has been for the majority of 2019.  We need to see greater recognition of this situation from Government and we continue to work with other UK farming unions on this.”


Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4059

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 139/19

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