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Kate Forbes Pledges SNP Support for Scottish Salmon Industry


Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes has reaffirmed the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) commitment to protecting Scotland’s food industries, particularly its renowned salmon producers.

This Saturday, Forbes will address SNP MPs at Westminster, emphasizing the party’s dedication to shielding Scotland’s food and drink sector from the adverse effects of Brexit. Her visit to DFDS Logistics in Larkhall, South Lanarkshire—Scotland’s largest haulage company for salmon and seafood—underscores this pledge.

In anticipation of the upcoming General Election, trade body Salmon Scotland has released a manifesto urging the UK to mend its relationship with the EU and reduce supply chain red tape. Last year, Scottish salmon exports were valued at £581 million, highlighting the industry’s economic significance.

“Our world-famous food and drink exports are the backbone of Scotland’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs, bolstering our tourism sector, and leading the way in UK exports—despite the trade nightmare that is Brexit,” Forbes stated. She criticized Brexit for causing workforce shortages and unfavorable trade deals that have severely impacted Scotland’s food and drink industries, which she noted have borne the brunt of a Brexit they did not vote for.

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Forbes argued that neither Labour nor the Tories are committed to reversing Brexit’s damage to the food and drink sector. She urged voters to support the SNP in the upcoming election to ensure that Scotland’s industries are not overlooked by a Westminster Government that disregards Scottish interests.

However, Scottish Conservative shadow rural affairs spokeswoman Rachael Hamilton dismissed Forbes’ remarks, accusing the SNP of neglecting Scottish food, drink, and hospitality sectors over the years. Hamilton criticized the SNP’s stance on the Common Fisheries Policy, the implementation of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), and their failure to extend UK Government-adopted rates relief to hospitality businesses.

Hamilton concluded that the SNP’s claims of support for fishermen and processors are unconvincing, asserting that these industries will not be swayed by what she describes as SNP spin.

With the debate intensifying ahead of the election, the future of Scotland’s food and drink sector, especially its prized salmon industry, remains a pivotal issue.

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