CONSERVATIVE CABINET MINISTER SHOULD HAVE SPOKEN UP AT THE TIME – MP
Gordon MP Richard Thomson has said former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice should have spoken up at the time following his comments in the House of Commons yesterday that the UK’s trade deal with Australia was “not actually a very good deal”.
Mr Eustice, who led DEFRA between 2020 and 2022, went on to say the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, signed in December 2021, “gave away far too much for far too little in return”.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“While George Eustice is simply confirming what everyone already knew, it shows that even among those Cabinet Ministers whom one would have thought had an interest in securing a good deal for our exporters, producers and farmers, they chose to remain silent publicly until after the deal was done and they were out of office.
“As Secretary of State for DEFRA, George Eustice should have spoken up at the time if he felt any private representations he was making to his own Government were going unheeded.
“However, it does now give the UK Government the opportunity to avoid making the same mistakes in future trade agreements – and it seems from what has been said that there were many, many mistakes made in the negotiations over the Australia deal.
“Unfortunately, in terms of the Australia deal, the damage has been done and exporters, producers and farmers will have to live with the consequences of that. Unless of course we take control of our own trade negotiations like any other normal country through independence.”