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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-14934: Emma Harper (South Scotland)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 27 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to analysis by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), which suggests that Scotland's sheep population could reduce by 56% because of Brexit.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 8 March 2018

Brexit will have a significant impact on the day-to-day running of every farm and croft across Scotland and this important study reaffirms what other studies, such as those carried out by the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute and Quality Meat Scotland, have shown – that failure to replicate the current trade arrangements with the EU will have a detrimental impact on farmers, and sheep farmers in particular.

Not only does the analysis show a potentially dramatic decrease in sheep population, but it also shows that up to 89% of sheep farms could return losses in 2022 under the most extreme scenario. The Scottish Government has been clear that the interests of Scottish farmers are best served by Scotland remaining in the EU, and will continue to encourage the UK Government to at least remain in the EU single market and customs union.