Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today described a proposed free trade deal with Australia as a “hammer blow” for Perthshire farmers.
The deal, as reported in the Financial Times, would see Australian agricultural producers receiving tariff-free access to the British food market. Such a deal was today described as a “serious betrayal” to farmers by Martin Kennedy, President of the National Farmers Union Scotland and a local Perthshire farmer.
Reports in today’s Times newspaper suggest that Boris Johnson is ready to agree to such a deal. At Prime Ministers’ Questions today, he refused to directly answer whether any trade deal with Australia would allow tariff-free access to lamb and beef.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“Any free trade deal that would allow tariff-free access to lamb and beef would be a hammer blow to local Perthshire farmers.
“Having already sold out Scottish fishing, it now looks like the Tories are gearing up to stab our farmers in the back.
“As a result of Brexit, the UK is being forced to negotiate from a position of weakness. It is becoming clearer by the day that leaving the European Union was an act of profound economic self-sabotage.
“For all the empty rhetoric about “love bombing” Scotland and “the strength of the Union”, once more the Tories are demonstrating that they will happily sell out Scotland if it means getting what they want.
‘The Prime Minister must confirm as a matter of urgency that he is not considering