The SNP has said Douglas Ross is “failing to stand up for Scotland” over the growing threat to Scottish farmers and crofters from the Tory government’s Australia trade deal.
Deidre Brock MP said the Scottish Tory Leader was making claims that are “simply not credible” – after a BBC Sunday Show interview in which Douglas Ross repeatedly dodged questions and gave misleading answers.
- When challenged by presenter Martin Geissler “why was there no dialogue between the UK and Scottish Government?” – Douglas Ross dodged the question
- When challenged about the concerns of Scotland’s farming communities on tariff-free imports, the Scottish Tory leader claimed “I can understand concerns have been highlighted but I’m not sure we will see them coming to fruition”
- When challenged on the threat of zero-tariff deals with the USA, Brazil and other countries, Mr Ross claimed “they are very separate deals… we have said there is no precedent in any of these deals, we go about them on an individual basis”
Commenting, SNP Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson, Deidre Brock MP said:
“Yet again, Douglas Ross is failing to stand up for Scotland over the damaging Tory Australia trade deal, which poses a growing threat to Scottish farmers and crofters.
“It speaks volumes that the Scottish Tory leader was unable to name any benefits for Scottish beef and lamb farmers – who face being undercut on price and standards, and left unable to compete with industrial-scale farming abroad.
“Scotland has been side-lined, ignored and kept in the dark throughout these negotiations. No meaningful protections have been introduced for Scottish farmers and crofters, who are being completely shafted – just as the Tories sold out Scotland’s fishing communities through Brexit.
“There is the very real danger that many Scottish farmers and crofters will lose income and be put out of business, with agricultural workers losing their jobs, if the Australia deal goes ahead in its current form – especially if it is replicated in future deals with the USA, Brazil and other industrial farming countries that will also demand tariff-free access to the UK.
“It’s simply not credible for Douglas Ross to claim that no precedent has been set for future trade deals – when it clearly has. It’s clear the Scottish Tories will roll over and rubber stamp any Downing Street deal, no matter how damaging it is for Scotland.
“Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control. It’s clearer than ever that the only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Brexit and Tory trade deals is to become an independent country.”
BBC Sunday Show, interview with Douglass Ross from 15.49: