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The Highland Times

News From and Around The Highlands of Scotland

UK Australia Trade Deal – Tory Government Hammering Scottish Farmers

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The SNP has condemned the Tory government for hammering Scotland’s farmers, as the UK government’s impact assessment of its post-Brexit trade deal with Australia sets out the damage it is set to inflict.

The details outline that aspects of the deal – such as tariff rate quotas (TRQs) – could be more advantageous for Australian producers and allow them to potentially flood the market with specific cuts of beef and lamb, which risks undercutting Scotland’s food producers.

It also highlights that there are no protections in place – despite repeated calls from the Scottish Government – to maintain the high animal welfare and environmental standards in place in the UK, which again threatens to undermine Scotland’s food and farming communities.

Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP (pictured) said:

“Despite the repeated warnings, the Tory government has ploughed ahead with its damaging post-Brexit plans – which will hammer Scottish farmers and our key industries.

“Beyond the rhetoric, the UK government’s own assessment makes clear that this trade deal with Australia will open up the market to cheaper imports of goods produced to lower animal welfare standards – which will undermine and undercut Scotland’s farmers, crofters and food producers.

“Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster and it is our economy, businesses and people’s livelihoods that are being forced to pay a heavy price – with the UK government’s own economic analysis suggesting that this deal will increase GDP by just 0.08%, while Brexit would lead to a 4.9% contraction in GDP.

“Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control.

“It’s clearer than ever that the only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Brexit and Tory trade deals is to become an independent country.”

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