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Trade Negotiations: Welsh Government

Volume 701: debated on Thursday 21 October 2021

6. What recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on her Department’s ongoing trade negotiations. (903686)

The Department for International Trade has established structures to engage very constructively with devolved Administrations across the United Kingdom, including the Welsh Government. I and my fellow Ministers will be speaking with Welsh Government counterparts in due course, as we always have done.

The Welsh Government, Hybu Cig Cymru and the farmers unions have all expressed concerns about the direction of UK trade policy, especially with regard to food—fears, I suspect, that will be heightened by today’s announcement about the deal with New Zealand. On the eve of COP26, can the Minister explain the environmental sense of undercutting domestic food production with imports from the other side of the world?

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman slightly misses the point about trade. The opportunity for trade is for us to be able to sell all over the world too. The Welsh farmers, along with British farmers across our country, I am sure, will be seeking these opportunities to trade not only with the 68 countries around the world with whom we have trade deals, plus the EU, but more to come—with the Gulf, with India, and much more in future. In respect of the opportunities regarding our friends in New Zealand and Australia, they sell much more of their products to Asia, where prices are higher, so our farmers need not be concerned.