MP Gordon Richard Thomson continued his campaign to restore access to EU and Northern Ireland export markets for Scottish seed potatoes.

Talks are still ongoing on renewing seed potato exports

Prior to Brexit, Scottish seed potatoes were a crucial import for European markets.

However, since January 2021 Scottish farmers have been unable to export seed potatoes to the EU, including Northern Ireland, due to changes in trade regulations following the Brexit.

These Brexit barriers have been put in place although there have been no changes to UK national plant health requirements for seed potatoes since the UK left the EU on that date. , or even any reduction in the quality of the product itself.

The UK government has announced an extension to the Trader Support Service (TSS) which helps businesses manage changes to the way goods are now exported to Northern Ireland as a result of Brexit. However, Scottish seed potato growers are still barred from exporting to this part of the UK.

Commenting, MP Richard Thomson said: “Following recent mass resignations and dismissals in the chaos that is the UK Government, we have a new Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs .

“There is an opportunity here for him, as a new person without baggage, to engage with the EU in a meaningful way and restore export markets for Scottish seed potatoes.

“So I wrote to the Secretary of State, Ranil Jayawardena, asking him to explore new ways of doing this.

“One way might involve mirroring the arrangement made for certain places in Canada to export to named countries within the EU, which my research shows was done in 2000.

“If this can be achieved for parts of Canadian provinces, then it can be achieved for Scottish seed potato exporters. All he needs is the political will to break with Brexit ideology.

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