Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has called for an extension to the Brexit transition period.

This comes as numerous countries introduced travel restrictions to the UK following concern over a highly infectious variant of COVID-19.

The closure of the French border to freight has seen Scottish exports to the continent – such as seafood from the Western Isles – unable to get to market. Scotland Food & Drink have estimated that there is £5 million of daily food exports to the continent now under threat.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“The next few weeks could see the perfect storm of COVID-19 restrictions to the continent combined with the imposition of Brexit.

“Last night’s closure of the French border is disastrous for island fishermen, who export a large amount of seafood to the continent. They would normally be benefitting from the normally high Christmas demand in France and Spain for their produce. Instead, they are unable put it to market and have to see produce already dispatched rot in Kent border queues.

“We are also seeing supermarkets give warnings about fresh fruit and vegetable shortages if this situation continues any longer.

“Governments need to be focusing on the COVID crisis right now and to add a hard or no-deal Brexit into the mix at this critical moment would be madness.”

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