Local MP Richard Thomson has welcomed the commencement of an inquiry by a House of Commons Select Committee into the UK Government’s trade deals concluded since Brexit.
Since leaving the EU, the government has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand. It has also either signed or is negotiating further agreements with the free trading bloc known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada, the Gulf Cooperation Council (a grouping of six middle eastern countries headquartered in Saudi Arabia) and India.
Now, a cross-party Parliamentary inquiry has been launched on the impact the UK Government’s post-Brexit trade policy has had – and will have – on food producers, consumers and businesses.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“I very much welcome this scrutiny on the UK Government’s trade deals in the wake of Brexit.
“The Australian and New Zealand trade deals, for example, were rushed through at high speed when farmers and producers were facing a range of challenges. It is quite clear that the objective was to get chalk on the board rather than to get any trade deal in place that might actually improve on or even equal or replicate that which was there.
“It is telling that the Australian and New Zealand Governments certainly think that this is a good trade deal, and yet there are vanishingly few individuals outside the ranks of the parliamentary Conservative Party who are prepared to say the same from the UK side. I think there is a fundamental reason for that. It is quite clear that the Australian and New Zealand Governments were very focused on securing beneficial outcomes for their economies, whereas the UK Government seemed to be focused primarily on getting a deal as quickly as possible, no matter what that cost.
“It will be very interesting to see what this inquiry uncovers in the weeks ahead.”