NFU Scotland has rejected a proposal for a direct arrangement between Scotland and the EU to export seed potatoes.
The proposal from the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency was part of an informal consultation on options to restart the export of seed potatoes to the EU which is currently banned since the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
The trade is estimated to be worth around £13m to the Scottish sector. The UK government has agreed a six month derogation which allows seed potatoes from Europe into the UK however, exports to the EU (and NI) are banned from 1 January.
So far efforts from Defra to gain “equivalence” for Scottish and UK seed potato growers has failed to gain traction in Brussels.
Scottish farmers are opposed to a unique Scottish solution, and would prefer one that covers all of the UK. The potato sector is strongly integrated between Scotland and England.
Farmers fear that any special deal with the EU could jeopardise that trade.