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Union Invites Post-Brexit Trade Talks with UK Government

NFU Scotland has written to Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox urging equivalence in standards and no trade shocks  

Andrew McCornick, NFU Scotland President, has reached out to Mr Fox following recent trade talks he has held with Australia and New Zealand to highlight the priorities of Scotland’s agri-food sector in the development of bilateral deals.

In the letter, Mr McCornick highlighted concern with recent media reports that the Australasian nations would not agree to divide usage of Tariff Rate Quota’s for agri-food products on historic lines after Brexit – a development which could have severe implications for significant sectors of Scotland’s red meat industry in particular.

Andrew McCornick said: “Following on from the UK Government’s talks with Australian and New Zealand officials, I have extended an invitation to Mr Fox to meet with me to discuss the UK Government’s position towards future trading partners.

“We need to make sure that we are seeking the best possible deal for farmers when negotiating trade agreements with foreign nations. Food and drink is the biggest income generator to the Scottish economy, with Scotland’s farmers and crofters as the bedrock to that industry. It is vital that discussions on future trade deals do not take this for granted. I can say in no uncertain terms that the economic prosperity of the islands, villages and towns across Scotland and the UK are linked to profitable food production.

“What we are seeking as a union are international trade deals which do not undercut Scotland’s extremely high standards of production, and which allow us to maximise the provenance of the Scottish product which is our Unique Selling Point in foreign markets. Whatever future trade deal is found for farming, food and drink, it must be bespoke to the Scottish and UK situation.

“The tenor of recent discussions with New Zealand and Australian delegates is a concern to me, I hope to discuss with Mr Fox the strong need to push for a deal which prioritises food production and directly benefits farmers and those in rural communities.”

Notes to the Editor

  • The letter was sent from NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick to Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox on Wednesday 6 December.


Ends

Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4108


Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 174/17


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About The Author

Douglas Ross

As a graduate in Multimedia Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University, NFU Scotland’s Communications Assistant Douglas Ross understands how important the media is for communicating with members. As the son of a Highlands farmer, Douglas has been involved in the industry his entire life before joining NFU Scotland in 2017.

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