Shetland’s MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart, has voiced the concerns of Shetland’s high quality agricultural sector during the first Scottish Parliament debate on the impact of the UK’s new trade deals. The debate follows trade negotiations with Australia, Canada and Japan.
Ms Wishart spoke against unfair competition and emphasised that imports must uphold high standards of welfare. Harm to Shetland’s agriculture and fishing sectors would have significantly damaging economic and cultural impacts.
Ms Wishart said:
‘Crofting and fishing are the traditional backbone of Shetland, both economically and culturally.
‘Agricultural businesses in the islands are often small, low-impact and high quality. We should thank and support local food businesses for the high quality food they produce, and which they continued to do so throughout the pandemic.
‘The agriculture industry has high animal welfare standards, and we want to keep it that way, and crofters and farmers are committed to sustainable innovation, management and stewardship.
‘We cannot allow our crofters and farmers to be undercut by unfair competition and tariffs, and imports must uphold high standards of welfare.’
Ms Wishart’s contribution to the debate can be viewed here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/members-business-jim-fairlie-impact-on-scottish-agriculture-of-tariff-free-trade-deals-june-8-2021.