Call for EU membership debate to address meat export implications

Scotland’s meat wholesalers have warned that whatever decision is reached on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union, it must not be allowed to damage Scottish meat export links which are currently delivering business worth around £75 million a year.

Commenting ahead of a visit to the Royal Highland Show today (Thursday) by EU farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) said its member companies had worked hard to develop exports across Europe and that close attention needed to be paid now to ensuring such efforts weren’t “wasted” in the years ahead.

“As a membership organisation, we are neutral concerning the promised referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU,” said SAMW president, Alan McNaughton (pictured above). “At the same time, however, we have very strong views on how, whichever route is chosen for the UK in the future, the meat industry in Scotland may be affected.”

In addition to highlighting the £75m a year value of current Scottish meat exports, Mr McNaughton also drew attention to the export potential which might flow from the EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

“Here again,” he added, “it is vital that whatever route the UK takes in relation to the EU, our members would not want to see future export opportunities being lost.”

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