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3 June 2019

Stevenson: US Trade Deal Threat to Local Food and Drink

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has warned that farmers and food producers in the North-East could be hit by a post-Brexit trade deal with President Donald Trump.

It comes after the US Ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, reiterated demands for major concessions from Great Britain.

According to reports, the Trump administration wants the UK to accept lower food safety standards than exist within the European Union, allowing US products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef to be sold in the UK.

The move would undercut our own food producers.

The US ambassador this week confirmed that a future trade deal would require access to “the entire economy”, potentially impacting other sectors such as the NHS.

There are also concerns that Scottish products, such as Scotch beef and Scotch Whisky, could lose their protected status after Brexit – allowing cheap-knock offs to be sold.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“Scotland has top-quality food safety standards, in line with the rest of the EU, protecting consumers and our world-renowned Scottish produce.

“But that’s now under threat, with the Tories planning to sell out Scottish food producers as part of a damaging back-room trade deal with Donald Trump.

“As a member of the EU, local products like Whisky have been protected from cheap market knock offs - we can’t allow the Tories to take a take a wrecking ball to our booming food and drink sector here in Aberdeenshire.

“The UK government’s shambolic approach to Brexit leaves them in an exceptionally weak bargaining position – with Tory leadership contenders competing to be the most reckless with our economic future.

“There’s a real danger that, if Brexit happens, the next Prime Minister will be absolutely desperate to sign whatever damaging trade-deal Trump demands.

“Scotland voted overwhelmingly against Brexit – and the threat of selling out Aberdeenshire’s food producers shows exactly why we need to stop it.”

Stewart Stevenson
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