'Reckless Brexit' SNP spark constitutional row after being ‘shut out’ of trade deal talks


The deal was announced in July and spearheaded by Liz Truss, former International Trade Secretary who was recently promoted to Foreign Secretary by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In a letter to the House of Lords European Affairs Committee, the SNP-led Scottish Government criticised the UK Government’s level of engagement with the devolved administrations.

The letter also claims there was no consultation on the negotiation process, nor on the crucial detail relating to tariffs and access to the goods market by the UK Government.

Written by Scotland’s Trade Minister Ivan McKee, the Scottish Government minister claims trade with Norway and Iceland in particular, was “important to Scotland.”

The MSP stressed in the letter: “That trading relationship was put at risk by the UK Government’s reckless approach to Brexit.

“That approach meant that this agreement effectively tried to replicate the level of market access we enjoyed previously as members of the EU, but could not do so, leaving Scottish businesses at a disadvantage compared to their EU competitors.”

 

Mr McKee claimed the Scottish Government should have a role in “all stages of trade negotiations.”

He added: “That did not happen in this case, with the result that we were not involved in any of the crucial detail relating to tariffs and goods market access.”

Under the deal which is due to be fully ratified by the UK Parliament, tariffs of up to 277 percent on cheese exported from the UK are set to be cut.

The UK Government also says the deal will allow caps on roaming charges and simpler visa processes for highly skilled workers.

READ MORE: UK launch talks for mega trade deal with Gulf Countries

 

“The furlough scheme protected over a million jobs and the overwhelming success of the UK’s vaccination scheme has allowed us to accelerate our recovery.

“Over £14 billion has been given to the Scottish Government by the UK Government to support us through the Covid crisis.

“That isn’t the performance of a struggling business.

“Ivan McKee should be fully focused on our recovery from Covid, rather than talking up the prospect of independence yet again.”

A UK Government source said: “UK trade policy benefits every part of the UK.”



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