Farmers must be protected after New Zealand trade deal – Scottish Government

The trade deal between the UK and New Zealand was agreed on Wednesday.

Farmers must be protected after New Zealand trade deal – Scottish Government iStock

Farmers in the UK will need to be protected from the impact of the New Zealand trade deal, the Scottish Government has said.

Responding to the deal struck between Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern, the Scottish Government said it would not offset the effects of Brexit.

However, the Scottish secretary Alister Jack has said the agreement will provide new opportunities for Scotland’s whisky, food and financial services industries.

The trade deal, agreed on Wednesday, cuts tariffs on exports between the UK and New Zealand.

Dairy products and red meat will be easier to import to the UK from New Zealand as a result.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Any deal with New Zealand will not remotely offset the damage to our economy caused by Brexit.

“Even the UK Government’s own scoping assessment published last year said a deal with New Zealand would result in zero increase in GDP and that the agriculture and semi-processed food sectors would be likely to lose out.

“Aside from the economic arguments of seeking new deals with markets thousands of miles away while putting up barriers to trade with our European neighbours, the climate change implications of long-distance trade must also be considered.”

The Scottish Government said it was not consulted on the New Zealand deal, and said devolved governments should be part of any future discussions.

The spokesman continued: “The recent AIP with Australia has caused great concern among Scotland’s farmers and crofters and we said at the time this would set a precedent for New Zealand and called on the UK Government to protect Scotland’s food producers.

“Nevertheless, it has committed to remove tariffs on meat and dairy products from New Zealand and it must now bring forward proposals to protect these sectors in Scotland and mitigate the cumulative impacts of the deals.”

Alister Jack said: “This modern and progressive trade deal with New Zealand is hugely exciting for Scotland and the whole of the UK.

“Our thriving financial services sector, whisky and food producers are set to receive a boost, while our auto-industry will benefit from the removal of tariffs of between 5% and 10% on vehicles.

“As well as bringing new opportunities to Scottish farmers who produce globally sought after produce, the deal also lays the foundations for access to the fast-growing Asian market through accession to CPTPP – a huge free trade area of 11 Pacific nations with a GDP of £9trn in 2019.

“I know our New Zealand trade envoy, David Mundell, will be banging the drum for Scottish exports as this great deal takes effect.”

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