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Free Trade Agreements

Volume 693: debated on Wednesday 28 April 2021

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential opportunities for Scotland arising from new free trade agreements. (914680)

I regularly discuss with my Cabinet colleagues opportunities for Scotland arising from the signing of trade deals. This Government have already struck deals with 67 countries around the world worth £218 billion a year, including with Canada, Japan and Singapore—with many more to come. This will create new markets for Scotland’s exporters, including our world-leading food and drink sector.

A new free trade agreement with Australia is now in sight for the UK. Does my right hon. Friend agree that this is a tremendous opportunity for exporters of agricultural products, and food and drink producers, across Scotland and Wales?

My hon. Friend is right about that and he is right to welcome the breakthroughs over the past few days with the Australian Government. Businesses in Scotland exported goods worth over £352 million to Australia in 2019, and reducing tariff barriers for our world-class food and drink industry could bolster Scotch whisky exports to Australia. As the Secretary of State for International Trade made clear at the weekend, this deal will be based on fair competition, maintaining our high standards and providing excellent, exciting opportunities for British products.