Date lodged: 5 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to NFU Scotland's claim that post-Brexit free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the United States present few opportunities and could have the potential to undermine productions standards in Scotland.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 15 November 2018
In discussions with the UK Government, Scottish Ministers have been clear that any future trade deals should not result in UK producers being undercut by imported products which have not been produced to the same standards required of our own domestic farmers, crofters and food producers. To that end, I wrote on 5 th November to the UK Government Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to propose an amendment to the UK Agriculture Bill which would prohibit imports of agricultural and food products where the relevant standards are lower than those in the UK.
The Scottish Government has been consistent in our position that, short of remaining in the EU, Scotland and the UK should stay in the Single Market and Customs Union. As the NFU Scotland President, Andrew McCornick, has made clear, any future trade agreements which negatively impact on our ability to trade with the European Union would be unacceptable.