Brexit: SNP MP calls for 'grace period' for UK businesses
The UK Government is understood to have reached an agreement over ware (eating) potatoes with the EU but no agreement is thought to have been found over seeds. Scots fear this risks huge problems for their industry.
Now, Ian Blackford, SNP leader in Westminster, has said this would be a “damaging blow” to Scotland and has used the reported agreement to continue calls for a second independence referendum.
Mr Blackford, tweeted: “If this is the case this will be a damaging blow to Scotland made in Westminster and Boris Johnson.
“If we want to protect our see potato producers Scotland needs to become independent and in the EU.”
Scottish Government rural spokesman Fergus Ewing added it would be “disastrous for our world-leading industry”.
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It is believed the exports of seed potatoes will be barred from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Announcing the deal, the Defra letter said: “Unfortunately the EU have confirmed they will not accept our case for a permanent change to the prohibition on seed potatoes… on the grounds that there is no agreement for GB to be dynamically aligned with EU rules.”
The EU will confirm this deal legally on Monday and will apply irrespective of a post-Brexit deal, which is expected to be announced imminently.
This comes as the UK has been awarded ‘third country’ listed status to be allowed to export to the EU post-Brexit.
This listing is essential to permit ongoing exports of Welsh lamb or live chicks.
Despite the effect it will have on Scotland, the National Farmers Union said it was a “critical step forward”.
During the coronavirus pandemic, support for a second Scottish independence referendum rose, sparking SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to continue to demand another vote.
But over the weekend, the SNP were handed a devastating blow after two-thirds of Scots said they do not want another vote on independence next year.
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A study by Survation found the percentage amid the coronavirus pandemic with Scots claiming the First Minister should be focusing on fighting the virus.
Ms Sturgeon has already said another referendum should happen in the “earlier part” of the next Holyrood term.
The poll results, when asked about the timing of another referendum, found 66 percent said a vote should not take place in 2021.
Only 21 percent supported the idea of a vote taking place next year whilst 13 percent were not sure.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of Conservative voters echoed Scottish Secretary Alister Jack’s comments of a vote being a “once in a generation” opportunity.
Richard Leonard, leader of Scottish Labour, said: “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have suggested holding an independence referendum next year. But now is not the time for another referendum.
“The Scottish Government should instead be fully focused on the recovery from the public health and economic crises which 13 years of SNP rule left Scotland unprepared to face.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “To even contemplate holding a divisive second independence referendum at this time is grossly irresponsible – and even an overwhelming majority of SNP voters agree it should not be prioritised.”
Anas Sarwar MSP, Constitution spokesperson for Scottish Labour, said it was a “gross insult” the SNP was talking about the prospect of a second vote in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “Talk of this hypothetical situation is nothing but a distraction from what our focus should be – pulling our people together and rebuilding our country.”
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