TRADE DEAL WITH TRUMP RISKS PROTECTED STATUS

The SNP has warned that the Tories are preparing to sell out over protections for top Scottish produce, risking our global reputation for quality food and drink to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump.

The EU Protected Food Name scheme safeguards produce on the basis of geographical status or traditional recipe or method. It gives legal protection against imitation and ensure that premium products are not undermined. There are 14 Protected Food Names in Scotland including Scottish Salmon, Scotch Beef, Arbroath Smokies and Stornoway Black Pudding.

Scotch Whisky, one of the UK’s most valuable products for export, is also protected by a geographical indication under separate regulations.

The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has today penned an article warning of the risks of not finding agreement over maintaining protected status for valuable Scottish products.

Failure to reach a deal could mean serious damage to Scotland’s food and drink exports which are worth £6 billion to the economy and support thousands of jobs. A rushed trade deal with the USA could water down protections for Scottish food and drink and leave the market vulnerable to cheap imitations undercutting produce on quality and price.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“Scotland has built a world renowned reputation for the quality of our food and drink – and it’s now worth £6 billion in export value each year.

“From top quality Scotch whisky, Scotch beef and Scottish salmon which is the benchmark of good quality across the world to the Stornoway black pudding and Arbroath smokies – the Scottish larder is something we cannot take for granted.

“The top Tory priority, however, is striking a quick trade deal with Donald Trump. This could put our reputation for world-beating food and drink in serious peril.

“A trade deal with the USA could flood the market with cheap quality products hijacking the Scottish brand.

“We cannot afford to put such a valuable sector in the hands of the hard-line Brexiteer Tories, who think they can do what they want to Scotland and get away with it.

“Maintaining our place in Europe’s Single Market is the best solution to keeping our market share, building Scotland the brand on the world stage and nurturing our food and drink sector so that it continues to go from strength to strength.”

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