Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill

Published date : 22 March, 2023
Out of all the potential amendments that could have come back along the corridor from the other place, this is not one that would have been top of my list. Let me surprise the Minister by saying that this is a very good trade deal—for those viewing it from Australia or New Zealand. It is not such a good trade deal—it is a pretty lousy one—for those viewing it from Scotland. We are dealing with a single-word amendment, and I can think of many farmers in my constituency who could probably sum up their views of this deal in a single word—none of their words would be parliamentary, I hasten to add.

I hear what the hon. Member for Totnes (Anthony Mangnall) has to say about this not being a static arrangement, but even then it still requires a great deal of catching up in order to make up the ground here. The UK Government’s own analysis shows that the trade deal with New Zealand will bring in an increase of 0.03% of GDP over 15 years, with a figure of 0.08% of GDP from the Australia deal, all while the UK trade and co-operation agreement with the EU leads to a 4.9% fall for the UK over the same period.

The Scottish National party has a simple yardstick on trade deals: we will support those that are good and oppose those that are poor. Nothing that has come back alters our view of this particular deal.

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