General Election 2019: Scotland's farmers need 'protected' from a Trump-Johnson trade deal claim opposition leaders

Both Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon have warned against a Trump trade deal for Scotland's farmers.
Both Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon have warned against a Trump trade deal for Scotland's farmers.
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Scotland's farmers need to be protected from a Johnson-Trump post-Brexit trade deal, according to both Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon.

The US President is in Britain to attend a Nato summit and has reportedly been warned not to "interfere" in the general election campaign, with the Conservatives concerned an endorsement might rebound on Boris Johnson.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson says "farmers risk being undercut by low-standard imports from the US".

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson says "farmers risk being undercut by low-standard imports from the US".

However both Sturgeon and Swinson are using the President's visit to pressure the Prime Minister into ensuring no "backroom" deals are done which could adversely impact on Scottish farmers.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson branded 'world's leading sycophant' towards Donald Trump
Yesterday, on a visit to Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, Ms Sturgeon said 49 per cent of communities in the area were among the most vulnerable to Brexit - with rural communities across the country "most exposed to the damage Brexit will do".

And Ms Swinson is today expected to call on Mr Johnson to commit to protecting farmers after leaked UK-US trade deal talks documents revealed American officials are pushing for the UK to allow greater use of chemicals in food production, including chlorine-washing chicken and growth hormones in beef cattle.

The US negotiators have said that maintaining the UK’s current high standards for food production was ‘the worst-case scenario’, adding that in a no-deal Brexit there would be "all to play for".

The Liberal Democrats have also said Brexit poses a risk to farmers through the loss of EU financial support, tariffs for the 80 per cent of UK agricultural products that are traded with the EU and labour shortages due to the end of free movement.

Jo Swinson said: "Boris Johnson's Brexit plans threaten to put our farmers out of business, through crippling tariffs for exports to the EU and labour shortages that would leave food rotting in the fields.

"To make matters worse, Johnson's desperation for a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump means UK farmers risk being undercut by low-standard imports from the US. Boris Johnson must give a guarantee that our farmers and world-leading food standards will not be sacrificed on the altar of a Trump trade deal."

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Nicola Sturgeon also raised fears around a potential no-deal Brexit's impact on rural areas in Scotland/

She said: “People in rural Scotland are being led up the garden path by Boris Johnson’s Tories - who are simply lying to them when they pretend that Brexit can be anything but damaging to our rural economies.

“We know that all areas and communities stand to suffer from Brexit, but our rural communities are among those most at risk - made greater by the many unanswered questions over future UK government funding for these rural areas.

“And with Donald Trump in the UK the threat to our valuable NHS, our world class produce, our food standards, and our businesses has never been greater.

“This election is absolutely crucial for rural Scotland - it’s more important than ever that we have a strong voice fighting to protect our rural communities from economic and social Brexit harm."

READ MORE: Boris Johnson warns Donald Trump that trade war could spark recession
Mr Johnson has maintained that trade deals and leaving the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) would offer farmers new opportunities.