AS AN ESTABLISHED food business whose core trade is importing ‘Continental Produce,’ Valvona & Crolla has traded enthusiastically with Europe for over 85 years. Our hard-earned success has been founded in the ability to talk directly with producers all over Europe, to source out what is good, authentic and best value for our customers.

Over the last 20-25 years, the ability to transport goods direct from suppliers across Europe to Edinburgh has enriched our trade immeasurably. We have managed, to the delight of our customers, to source buffalo mozzarella direct from Campania, extra virgin olive oil from farms all over Italy, fresh vegetables from Milan markets and even fresh marzipan fruits from the highest mountain village in the centre of Sicily.

We can say, without hesitation, Europe has ‘been our oyster’!

And it has not been a one-way trade. Trucks leave Scotland’s shores with Scottish lamb direct for France; freshly landed shellfish is whisked off to Spain and Italy; our West Coast oysters are celebrated in the top restaurants of France. Our reputation as a food nation has risen inexorably as our European cousins have enjoyed Scotland’s produce.

When news broke that the UK had voted to leave the European Union, to a man our contacts and suppliers across Europe were devastated! They could not understand why. Nor could many of us! Now they are reporting that their exports from Europe to the UK are down by as much as 20 per cent. Already our deliveries are taking one to two days longer. If things get worse it will be almost impossible to get the freshest of food we are used to.

We cannot take for granted how fortunate we have all been over the last decades. Things had got better! The opportunities delivered by open borders trade and travel opportunities have made all of our lives considerably richer.

This Brexit bungle has done no one any favours. It has wasted a whole lot of money, caused many sleepless nights, and wasted our energies.

I voted to Remain. With all the knowledge we have now, given half the chance I’d do it again.

Enough is enough.