Before the United Kingdom left the European Union, Scottish seed was critical to the continent’s markets. More than 75 per cent of UK exports of seed potatoes come from Scotland, with the country exporting seed potatoes to 18 EU countries in 2020/21. However, since January 2021, Scottish farmers can no longer export seed potatoes to the EU, including Northern Ireland, due to changes in trade regulations.
However, the campaign to restore Scottish seed potatoes to the EU’s and Northern Ireland’s export markets is continuing, and a member of Parliament has said the new government must now make a “meaningful commitment”. Richard Thomson, who leads efforts to restore access, said there was a new opportunity following the appointment of Ranil Jayawardena as new minister of Agriculture.