Scotland ‘should get Brexit trade talks seat’ claims leading academic

The UK Government 'shouldn't be scared' of giving devolved administrations a say on trade deals after Brexit, a leading academic has said.
The UK Government 'shouldn't be scared' of giving devolved administrations a say on trade deals after Brexit, a leading academic has said.
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The UK Government “shouldn’t be scared” of giving devolved administrations a say on trade deals after Brexit, a leading academic has said.

Dr Kirsty Hughes, director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations, said there was a “strong argument to look at our constitutional settlement” and consider giving the Scottish Government greater powers over future trade deals.

Dr Hughes was on a panel of academics and researchers giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee, which suggested Canada’s free trade deal with the EU, where Canadian provinces were given a significant role and a seat at the negotiating table, was a “sensible” model to follow.

Dr Michael Gasiorek, director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory, told MPs there “should be a strong element of consultation”, and that devolved administrations “should certainly be involved in the formulation of trade policy”. However, Dr Gasiorek said this shouldn’t extend to a formal veto.

Maddy Thirmont-Jack, of the Institute for Government, said it was “really important to include the devolved governments in the negotiation process”

And Dr Kirsty Hughes told MPs: “I think we don’t have to be quite so scared of this idea of requiring consent and not just consultation.”