David Mundell will tomorrow warn that the Scottish and UK governments must work together to make Brexit a success for Scotland.
The Scottish Secretary will say the UK must “pull together at home” to take advantage of opportunities abroad as a he attempts to foster trade links with New Zealand.
His plea will be made in a keynote speech which will be delivered at the University of Otago, Dunedin, which he will visit as part of his trade mission to New Zealand.
The Brexit process has seen relations between the UK and Scottish governments deteriorate. Scottish ministers have accused the UK government of mounting a power grab on devolution. While the UK government has challenged the Scottish Government’s alternative Brexit Bill in the Supreme Court.
Mr Mundell will argue that Brexit offered the chance for the UK to become a global champion for free trade.
But he will add that to do so requres both governments to work together.
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The Scottish Secretary will say: “The referendum was a clear instruction to the UK government, and we will deliver on it. But it was not a vote to turn inwards and to turn our backs on the world. Leaving the EU will be transformative to our global trade policy. Outside the EU, the UK will be able to make its own agreements around the world as a global champion for free trade. We will be able to move nimbly to negotiate mutually beneficial deals in parts of the world where we can’t as a member of the EU.
“For the first time in over 40 years we will be able to determine who we trade with, and on what terms. But to seize the opportunities abroad, the fact is we need to pull together at home. We need to be ready for Brexit. This means working with the Scottish Government to make our exit from the EU a success in Scotland and for Scotland.”
He will defend his position that UK-wide frameworks are essential for trade. It is the UK government’s proposal to temporarily freeze the transfer of powers to Holyrood in 24 areas that have led to SNP accusations that Holyrood is being subjected to a power grab.
The UK government maintains that freezing the powers, which govern issues such as animal health and food labelling, is essential to create UK wide frameworks and maintaining the UK market.
Mr Mundell will say UK frameworks will “safeguard” the UK’s ability to sign up to trade deals.