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Brexit could devastate rural Scotland


By Alistair Whitfield


'THE 21st Century Clearances’ – that's how serious Brexit's impact could be on rural Scotland.

This claim is being made in a new report which was released at a meeting in Moray by Scottish Rural Action .

The report's publication on Monday coincided with a visit by the Scottish Government minister responsible for negotiating the details of Brexit.

Michael Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Government Relations and Constitutional Affairs, was in the region to co-host a public meeting on the issue.

Mr Russell said: “The findings in this report are stark. Taking Scotland out of the EU against our will removes us from a market which is eight times bigger than the UK alone.

“Rural communities are deeply worried about the impact of Brexit on their lives. From funding and trade to community life and the workforce, many believe the effects will be nothing short of catastrophic."

Moray's MSP Richard Lochhead, was the other co-host at the meeting which was held in Elgin's St Giles Church in Elgin.

He said: “Any form of Brexit leaves Moray in a worse position, but it is absolutely clear that a no-deal Brexit would be devastating. Many of our key industries, such as our food and drink producers, are export based and rely on EU nationals for their workforce."

Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Michael Russell, visits the factory of MacLean’s Bakery in Forres alongside Maclean’s Highland Bakery managing director, Lewis Maclean...Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No.043504.
Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Michael Russell, visits the factory of MacLean’s Bakery in Forres alongside Maclean’s Highland Bakery managing director, Lewis Maclean...Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No.043504.

During his visit Mr Russell visited MacLean’s Bakery in Forres as well as Moray College.

In addition , he also met the Simon Cotton, the managing director at Johnstons of Elgin, as well as Moray Council.



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