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Secretary Fergus Ewing: EU workforce is ‘essential’ in Scotland

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Christian Fernsby |
Fergus Ewing
Europe   Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing

Continued opportunities for EU citizens to live and work in Scotland are essential to rural and coastal Scotland’s continued success and sustainability, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said.

Approximately 5.2% of Scotland’s total workforce is made up of EU migrants, with the rural economy particularly reliant on people from all over the EU with a vital mix of skills to support key industries, including:

- up to 10,000 EU citizens employed in food and drink

- up to 10,000 non-UK seasonal migrant workers employed in the soft fruit and vegetable sector

- over 4,500 EU citizens work in the Scottish fishing industry

- Food Standards Scotland reports that 95% of official veterinarians are EU citizens

- an estimated 21,000 EU citizens were employed in the tourism sector, accounting for 11.6% of all employed in the sector

The First Minister has made a commitment to EU citizens living here that they will be supported to remain in Scotland during and beyond the uncertainty associated with an EU exit.

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