Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd has warned that farmers and food producers could be hit by a post-Brexit trade deal with the USA – after the US ambassador reiterated demands for major concessions from the UK.
The SNP member warned that the Conservative Party in Westminster was preparing a “damaging back-room trade deal with Donald Trump”. The US president is in London this week as part of a state visit but Ms Todd is not impressed with his approach to food standards.
She said: “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 – undercutting 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, said Ms Todd. She is also concerned that Scottish products, such as beef, whisky, Arbroath smokies could lose their protected status after Brexit – allowing “cheap-knock offs” to be sold.
“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 Scotch beef, whiskey [sic] and cheeses 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 Highlands and Islands.”
She said the prospect of a “damaging trade-deal” with the USA was another reason why Brexit must be stopped.