FMQs: Nicola Sturgeon calls for UK-Australia trade deal to be put to vote

The First Minister has raised concerns about the impact of the newly-signed trade deal between the UK and Australia on Scottish farmers, and said the agreement should be put to a ratification vote in both Westminster and Holyrood.

At First Minister’s Questions Nicola Sturgeon said the full detail of the deal needed to be published, after SNP MSP Jim Fairlie raised the opposition of the National Farmers’ Union in Scotland to the agreement, claiming it “sets a dangerous precedent.”

The new trade deal between the UK and Australia has been defended by the UK government, with Trade Secretary Liz Truss insisting it will not harm British farmers' livelihoods.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Read More

Read More
Scottish farming industry 'cut out' in UK trade deal with Australia
There are concerns about the impact of the UK-Australia trade deal on Scottish farmers.

She has also denied that imports of Australian beef would flood the UK and instead said the trade deal would ensure British export markets would grow.

Mr Fairlie said the deal had been done with “no consultation, no consent and no parliamentary scrutiny” and needed to be put to a vote to prevent the “selling out of Scotland’s farmers and crofters.”

Ms Sturgeon said the detail of the Australia deal should be published in full and put to a vote at Westminster and Holyrood.

“I am deeply concerned about the implications of this trade deal and future trade deals on our farming sector in Scotland,” she said.

“The detail of this should be published in full and put to a vote, not just in the House of Commons but in this parliament as well so we can represent the interests of the Scottish farming industry.”

Ms Sturgeon also rejected a suggestion by Scottish Labour's Paul Sweeney that Glasgow City Council should review its decision to extend a “ban on asylum seekers as a result of constraints on accommodation”.

Mr Sweeney said the decision was "tantamount to an abdication of responsibility as Scots and Glaswegians to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”

But Ms Sturgeon said: “I think one of the last organisations in this country, and I say this under the current political leadership but also the last Labour leadership, Glasgow City Council is the last that deserves to be criticised, it has welcomed asylum seekers and done all it can to support them.

"The target of our criticism and demands for change should be to the UK government not Glasgow City Council.”

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.