Scottish Government warns agri-food sector will suffer as first post-Brexit trade deal begins
The UK’s first post-Brexit trade deals have come into force, removing tariffs on UK goods being exported to Australia and New Zealand.
The UK Government has heralded the deals, with trade secretary Kemi Badenoch saying it means the UK will secure economic growth and higher wages.
But the Scottish Government has warned the deal will undercut domestic producers.
Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said it would allow an “influx” of goods made at lower cost and to lower regulatory standards from the two other nations.
The trade deals are the first to be negotiated following the UK’s exit from the European Union in 2020.
The first shipments from the UK included a range of handpicked goods, including signed Beano comics and Welsh whisky.
Meanwhile the first shipments into the UK include wine and kiwis.
Badenoch said: “Today is a historic moment as our first trade deals to be negotiated post-Brexit come into effect.
“Businesses up and down the country will now be able to reap the rewards of our status as an independent trading nation and seize new opportunities, driving economic growth, innovation and higher wages.”
But the Scottish Government has said it was left out of negotiations, which will cost the nation’s agri-food sector.
Gougeon said: “Neither the Scottish Government nor its economic agencies have been involved in the preparation for implementation of these trade deals. Fundamental questions persist regarding the sufficiency of UK Government led training and funding for exporters.”
“Going forward it is imperative that UK ministers work constructively with ministers from the devolved governments and industry to ensure that our agri-food producers are better protected in future trade deals,” she added.