SNP warns against ‘bargain basement’ trade deal with US

Nationalists claimed that US priorities included weakening food standards in the UK. Picture: AFP/Getty
Nationalists claimed that US priorities included weakening food standards in the UK. Picture: AFP/Getty
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Brexit could see Scotland being forced into a “bargain basement” trade deal with the United States dictated by Donald Trump’s administration, the SNP claimed today ahead of next week’s European elections.

The party sought to put the UK’s future trading relationships once the country departs the EU back on the agenda by pointing to what it described as a “chilling” 18 page list of US government negotiating priorities published earlier this year.

Nationalists claimed that US priorities included weakening food standards in the UK and opening up its domestic market to genetically modified crops and chlorine-washed chicken.

The party said there was significantly higher rates of salmonella in the US than in the UK, contributing to fears of reduced food standards.

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SNP MEP Alyn Smith said: “Brexiteers promised that leaving the EU would lead to free trade deals across the globe.

“The reality is that the UK alone will be in a much weaker negotiating position than the EU as a whole – and Donald Trump will try to use that weakness to lower standards and open up our market to second class produce.

“That’s bad news for consumers and bad news for Scottish food producers forced to compete with a flood of cheap, low quality imports.

“Scotland can’t be forced to accept a bargain basement trade deal with Trump.

“We need to stop Brexit – a vote for the SNP in the European election will make clear we will not stand for this.”

A spokesperson for the Department for International Trade told The Scotsman: “We have been clear that any future deal with the US must work for the whole of the UK, including Scotland and we remain committed to protecting Scotland’s global reputation for high food, welfare and agricultural standards in any future agreements.”