The impact of Brexit is set to cost Scotland’s food and drink sector around £150m, which could result in around 1,500 jobs losses in the Highlands, according to researchers.
The report from the Fraser of Allander Institute predicted that, once the UK does leave the EU, between 500-1,500 food and drinks jobs could be lost in Scotland.
The report said: “Brexit is predicted to have a negative impact on Scotland’s economy. Over the long term, a reduced level of trade is expected to result in Scottish gross domestic product (GDP) being between 2% and 5% lower than would otherwise be the case.”
Despite this costing the industry around £75m, which could rise to £120m, the report suggested that the rest of Britain would be worse off.
Katerina Lisenkova, head of economic modelling at Fraser of Allander Institute, told British Baker’s sister title Food Manufacture: “In our scenarios in the long term, the food and drink sector could potentially lose between 500 and 1,500 jobs. But there could be other jobs related to food and drink in adjacent sectors, such as in retail.”
While some bakers have taken steps to counter the effects of Brexit, David Smart, director at Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery, said the impact of the UK leaving the EU was just a “storm in a teacup” and assumed that businesses would run as usual.