An SNP MSP has accused the UK Tory government of still failing to protect Scotland’s farmers and crofters from lower food standards and opening the door to them being undercut in price by trade deals.
Jim Fairlie (pictured) wrote to Boris Johnson outlining his grave concerns about the Australian deal and how it would put the future of Scottish farming at risk.
The letter was signed by some of the biggest names in Scottish farming.
The letter was responded to by Trade Minister Greg Hands who promised that the deal will be scrutinised to ensure that farmer and crofters are not undercut.
That is despite not setting up the new statutory Trade and Agriculture Commission to specifically scrutinise the deal and future deals.
Commenting, Jim Fairlie said:
“The response provided to me by the Trade Minister was full of the usual bluff and bluster that we have come to expect from the Tories when it comes to the protection of Scotland’s farmers and crofters.
“Despite promising to ensure that our world-class farming produce would not be undercut by the Australian trade deal, the Tories have yet to establish the new Trade and Agriculture Commission to scrutinise these deals and ensure that they do not in fact undercut farmers and crofters.
“I have spoken to a number of farmers across my constituency of Perthshire South and Kinross-shire and all over Scotland who are terrified of the precedent this deal sets.
“It could provide a blueprint for our vital farming sector to be undercut once again by deals from other countries such as America.
“Farmers and crofters across Scotland cannot trust the Tories to protect their future, they have been totally betrayed and thrown under the Brexit bus, just like our fishing sector.
“The only way to protect Scotland from the Tories is with an independent Scotland with a Government committed to protecting all of Scotland’s vital industries, including agriculture, fisheries and our dynamic food and drink sector.”