Brexit news: We’re watching you! Boris warned ‘betrayal’ could ‘wipe out’ key UK trade | Politics | New
Australia “has a lot to offer UK in free trade deal”, expert says
The UK, led by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, is in ongoing talks on a post-Brexit free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia and hopes to secure an imminent deal. The two countries have agreed on the vast majority of issues of a deal, which official estimates could add £ 500million to Britain’s long-term economic output. But reports have suggested that could include a period of up to 15 years with zero tariffs and quotas.
The proposal faced a huge backlash from UK farmers, who warned they risked being undermined by a wave of meat imports from Australia that could flood the market as part of the move. an FTA.
Martin Kennedy, president of the National Famers’ Union of Scotland, warned that the British agricultural sector was “still very concerned” about the proposed trade deal between the United Kingdom and Australia.
But he’s more concerned about the precedent such reported terms for the lucrative deal could set for future trade deals with the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
The chief of NFU Scotland, which represents more than 9,000 farmers across Scotland, fears that not having trade limits could trigger an oversupply of produce entering the UK with countries failing to have no food standards aligned with ours.
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Brexit news: The proposed UK-Australia trade deal faced huge backlash from farmers
Mr Kennedy told Express.co.uk: ‘If we enter into a trade deal which allows an oversupply of product to enter the UK, and we have been assured that this will not affect UK agriculture , but if that happens, then that is when we would feel betrayed.
“This is because we would have been assured that a trade deal would not undermine our own food production systems in the UK.
“That hasn’t happened yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what the assurances will be.
“We are keeping a very close eye on how this is going to play out in the future.
Brexit news: British farmers fear they will be undermined by a wave of meat imports from Australia that could flood the market
“It’s not just about the trade deal with Australia, the real concern is that we’re going to have New Zealand, Canada, the United States and then you start looking at other products.”
Mr. Kennedy used as an example a possible trade deal with the United States, in which he described pork production across the Atlantic as a “massive industry”.
But he warned that if the import of these products were ‘blocked’ with frictionless access, it could ‘completely wipe out the pig industry in Scotland and the UK as a whole’.
The president of NFU Scotland warned: “For example, if you take the United States, pork food production is a massive industry.
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“It’s great to be told that it would be fantastic to have British lamb in the United States.
“But if this is warned with frictionless access from the United States, it could completely wipe out the pork industry in Scotland and the UK as a whole.”
Kennedy said NFU Scotland remained “very concerned” about the proposed zero tariff and zero quota conditions surrounding the UK-Australia trade deal, warning that other countries negotiating trade deals may demand the same conditions.
He added: “We are still very concerned about the proposed trade deal between the UK and Australia.
“If this deal has frictionless access without any safeguards in place, other countries negotiating trade deals with us will want the same.
“We are not saying that at the moment this will have a huge impact on the UK right away, but rather it is about the concern that there will be no limits on trade.
“If we don’t have significant restrictions or safeguards in place, then the concern is that we might see an oversupplied market.”
Mr. Kennedy added: “Of course the main driver of the market is supply and demand.
“I am reluctant to see products coming from other regions that do not have the same standards as us.
“The government keeps saying it will not undermine our standards, but this is not about undermining our standards.
“It’s about getting a trade deal with a country that doesn’t have the same standards as us.”