Scotland's First Minister has raised concerns about the impact of the UK/Australia trade deal announced this week on Scottish farmers and called for the agreement to be ratified by Westminster and Holyrood, according to the Edinburgh media.
At First Minister’s Questions Nicola Sturgeon said the full detail of the deal needed to be published, after SNP Jim Fairlie raised the opposition of the National Farmers’ Union in Scotland to the agreement, claiming it “sets a dangerous precedent.”
The new trade deal between the UK and Australia has been defended by the UK government, with Trade Secretary Liz Truss insisting it will not harm British farmers' livelihoods.
She has also denied that imports of Australian beef would flood the UK and instead said the trade deal would ensure British export markets would grow.
Mr Fairlie said the deal had been done with “no consultation, no consent and no parliamentary scrutiny” and needed to be put to a vote to prevent the “selling out of Scotland’s farmers and crofters.”
Ms Sturgeon said the detail of the Australia deal should be published in full and put to a vote at Westminster and Holyrood.
“I am deeply concerned about the implications of this trade deal and future trade deals on our farming sector in Scotland,” she said.
“The detail of this should be published in full and put to a vote, not just in the House of Commons but in this parliament as well so we can represent the interests of the Scottish farming industry.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the latest agreement marks a new dawn in the UK's relationship with Australia, underpinned by... shared history and common values.
He added in a statement: This is global Britain at its best - looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and help ensure every part of the country builds back better from the pandemic.
Speaking later at a Downing Street press conference alongside Australian premier Scott Morrison, Johnson insisted that more trade agreements would follow.
This is ... a prelude to further deals, Johnson told reporters.
Morrison praised the foundational partnership that would strengthen economic links and boost cooperation between the two nations.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted that the deal was an important stepping stone in efforts to join a massive free trade zone in the Indo-Pacific region - the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The deal eliminates tariffs on UK exports, with a final agreement in principle to be published in the coming days, according to the government.
The UK-Australia trade relationship was worth £13.9 billion (US$19.4 billion) last year and will grow under the deal, it added in a statement.
The British Chambers of Commerce, representing thousands of UK firms, described the Australia deal as a positive step but warned it would not offset EU wrangles.
Trade with Australia represents only around 1.2% of the UK's total, so whilst a deal will have welcome benefits it will not offset the ongoing issues with trade to the European Union, said BCC trade policy head William Bain