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Scotland must avoid being forced into a “bargain basement” trade deal with US President Donald Trump by stopping Brexit, said Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP.

The Tories have made the ability to strike independent trade deals a red line in Brexit negotiations – despite the EU having a proven record of securing advantageous trade deals on the UK’s behalf.  However, a chilling 18-page list of US government negotiating priorities published earlier this year outlined the potential cost of a trade deal with Trump. 

The US priorities include weakening food standards in the UK, opening up our domestic market to genetically modified crops, chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-injected beef –  all which could disadvantage farmers in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire.

Studies have indicated significantly higher rates of salmonella in the US than in the UK, contributing to fears over the safety of reducing food standards. 

Commenting, Ms Cunningham said:

“The Perth & Kinross Council area voted to Remain in the EU by 61% to 39% – and yet we face being dragged out against our will.

“Brexiteers promised that leaving the EU would lead to free trade deals across the globe but the conditions that could be attached to such deals make that more of a threat than a promise. 

“The reality is that the UK alone will be in a much weaker negotiating position than the EU as a whole – and Donald Trump will try to use that weakness to lower standards and open up our market to second-class produce.  

“That’s bad news for consumers, and bad news for food producers in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire forced to compete with a flood of cheap, low quality imports. 

“The food and drink industry is massively important in my constituency, as it is across Scotland as a whole.

“Local farmers produce meat of the very highest standard and any lowering of quality and welfare standards will massively diminish that important brand image.

“The threat to the Scotch Whisky designation and minimum ageing regulations cannot be underestimated, either.

“Scotland must not be forced to accept a bargain basement trade deal with Trump. 

“We need to stop Brexit – a vote for the SNP in the European election will make clear we will not stand for this.”

* * * * *

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Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design