BREXIT is costing Scotland’s salmon industry £100 million a year, MSPs are set to be told.

Tavish Scott, the chief executive of Salmon Scotland, is to highlight the impact leaving the European Union has had on Scottish exports as he gives evidence to the External Affairs Committee on Thursday.

He will also call on the next UK government, whether Tory or Labour, “to ease the burden on exporters so that sectors like ours can sell more Scottish produce, delivering economic growth and creating jobs here at home”.

SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said the figures Scott will highlight are “absolutely devastating”, adding: “I cannot fathom why any political party would accept this.”

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Scottish salmon was the UK’s largest food export in 2023, despite the fact that less of it was exported than before the Brexit deal came into effect in 2020.

In 2019, there were more than 53,000 tonnes of Scottish salmon exported to the EU, with the figure falling to 44,000 tonnes in 2023.

Export values to the EU were only down three per cent – to £356m – because strong global demand drove up prices. But if the sector had maintained volumes at 2019 levels, then sales would have been above £430m.

That means there has been a net “loss” of around £75m, or up to £100m had the sector grown at the rate previously expected, Salmon Scotland said in a press release.

The body also said the Brexit impact of lost sales does not include the direct £3m-a-year cost to farming companies because of the lack of an e-certification scheme.

SNP MSP Allan said: “Westminster’s Brexit obsession has left the Scottish salmon sector facing a myriad of trade barriers and costs, with no end in sight as part of a broken Britain.

“Facing a net loss of around £100m pounds, several million in additional costs for farmers and lost economic growth that we would have enjoyed as part of the EU is utterly devastating, and I cannot fathom why any political party would accept this.

“The harm to this industry – along with countless others – is clear as day, and yet the Tories and Labour are resolutely committed to the very Westminster consensus that has inflicted this harm.

“The SNP government is doing what it can with very limited powers to support Scottish salmon producers, mitigating the real-world consequences of Westminster’s dysfunction, but only with independence can we end this damage once and for all.”

The National: Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation. Picture: SSPO

Scott (above) said: “Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest food export and a major contributor to our economy, with demand rising at home and abroad.

“And despite soaring sales to Asia and the US, the EU is still the most significant region for our exports, accounting for more than 60 per cent of international sales.

“The world-renowned quality of nutritious low-carbon Scottish salmon means that we could significantly grow markets such as Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

“But Brexit red tape continues to hold back the potential of Scottish exports, despite the hard work and investment put in by farmers to address the issues.

“We need the next UK government – whatever formation it is – to ease the burden on exporters so that sectors like ours can sell more Scottish produce, delivering economic growth and creating jobs here at home.”