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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Impact of UK Free Trade Deals on Scotland’s Producers

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The estimated impacts of future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between the UK and selected Non-EU trading partners on key Scottish agricultural sectors has been published in new Scottish Government research.

The Scottish Government carried out the research to understand the likely impacts of future FTAs on Scotland’s economic and other interests given a lack of Scottish data in the UK Government’s scoping and impact assessments. 

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“This report highlights the individual and cumulative threats and opportunities of these trade deals by agricultural sector and farm type.

“While the dairy sector is best positioned to see export growth, there are some specific threats posed to Scottish sheep meat and beef, with imports from trading partners like Australia and New Zealand expected to exert significant pressure.

“The report also reaffirms that such FTAs will set important precedents to other prospective trade partners about where the UK is willing to cede in negotiations.

“These could weaken its bargaining position in future deals and lead to worse outcomes for those sectors already negatively affected – especially in terms of renowned brands like Scotch Beef and Lamb.

“The reports shows the current UK Government trade approach is not working in the interests of Scottish agriculture – we will continue to press for a coherent trade policy that makes agriculture a higher priority in future trade deals.

“We will use these findings to help identify future policy options to mitigate or address the differential impacts of trade, as part of delivering Scotland’s Vision for Trade.”

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