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Scotland: We want EU and independence

Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 23, 2020
Ministers in Scotland are calling on the UK Government to prioritise trade talks with the EU over the USA, and give Scotland a meaningful role in all stages of any future trade arrangements.
Ivan McKee
Business in Scotland   Trade Minister Ivan McKee
With the UK Government repeatedly not committing to an alignment with EU standards, Scotland’s Trade Minister Ivan McKee said there is now a real danger that in prioritising US trade talks standards will be lowered even further.

Topics: Scotland independence

McKee said: “EU membership is the best outcome for Scotland and we believe that EU standards on labour, data, food standards and product safety are world-leading and simply cannot be replicated through any other form of trading relationship.

“The proposed UK Government approach, prioritising a trade deal with the US over the EU, presents a significant threat to the Scottish economy, our interests and priorities. The EU’s standards both protect consumers and drive trade. Furthermore, the UK should not begin trade talks with the US unless it removes its punitive tariffs on Scotch whisky and a range of other Scottish goods.

“The UK Government’s own analysis estimated that securing a free trade agreement with all English speaking countries, including the US, would only increase UK GDP by 0.2-0.4%. This does little to offset the impact of leaving the EU Single Market which Scottish Government analysis showed would lower GDP by 6.1% by 2030.

“It is essential the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament have a proper and meaningful role in all stages of the development of future trade arrangements, which shape the nature of our economy. In the meantime, the Scottish Government will use its devolved powers to maintain, as far as it is able, the closest possible ties with the EU, while working towards independence.”