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Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Volume 737: debated on Wednesday 13 September 2023

1. What assessment he has made with Cabinet colleagues of the potential impact of the UK’s accession to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership on the Scottish economy. (906278)

I think that we should draw a veil over last night’s football, but I look forward to Scotland qualifying next month for Euro 2024.

Today is the National Farmers Union’s Back British Farming Day, and I am sure that the whole House will join me in marking the important contribution that we farmers and growers make to our everyday lives and to our economy.

The comprehensive and progressive agreement for the trans-Pacific partnership trade bloc is projected to make up the majority of global growth in the future. As a result of joining the CPTPP, a deal that we could not strike while in the EU, Scottish businesses are now in a prime position in the global economy to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth and innovation.

The CPTPP is the most exciting and dynamic trading bloc, and a significant Brexit dividend. Scotland, like Wales, has great products to export. My right hon. Friend mentioned farming. Welsh lamb and maybe Scotch whisky have some great opportunities to take advantage of within the CPTPP. Will he encourage the devolved Administrations to work with the UK Government to ensure that we exploit those benefits and this Brexit opportunity for people in Scotland, Wales and elsewhere?

Absolutely. My right hon. Friend is right: the CPTPP is the fastest-growing trade zone in the world, and with the UK included it is worth circa £12 trillion. To that end, we are working with the devolved Administrations. We have also put in a huge network of support centres across the UK, not least in Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh.

I am sure that the Secretary of State will be assisted in determining Scotland’s place in international arrangements by the Scottish Affairs Committee’s report, “Promoting Scotland Internationally”, which was released today. In it, he will find that the working arrangements between personnel in both Governments are consensual and productive. Does he not therefore feel slightly embarrassed by the ridiculous diktat from the Foreign Secretary, intended to put the Scottish Government back in their place? The Scottish Secretary told our Committee that it was necessary because, among other insignificant things, Scottish Government Ministers had the temerity to say that Brexit is a bad thing for Scotland. Does he not think that nearly all of Scotland thinks that Brexit is a bad thing for Scotland?