Dean Lockhart MSP has today outlined the importance of taking advantage of new trade agreements across the world in a debate on Scotland’s future trade arrangements.
Dean used his speech in the Scottish Parliament to highlight Scotland’s bright trading future as part of a dynamic United Kingdom.
Latest figures have shown that 61 per cent of Scotland’s trade is with the rest of the United Kingdom, 17 per cent with the European single market with exports to the rest of the world increasing to over 23 per cent.
Given that 90 per cent of the world’s economic growth in the next 10 years will take place outside Europe, Dean stressed the importance of helping Scottish businesses to gain more access to these fast growing markets.
Speaking after the debate, Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’The SNP’s position on Scotland’s future trading arrangements is contradictory, confusing and lacks credibility.
‘’On the one hand, the SNP’s policy of a differentiated approach to Europe and remaining in the single market would hand significant powers over trade agreements back to Brussels where the interests of 27 other members states are reflected in trade deals. Diluting Scotland’s influence.
‘’On the other hand, the trade paper which was debated in the chamber argues that Scotland’s trading needs must be fully reflected in future deals negotiated by the UK Government.
‘’The UK Government remains committed to fully involving the devolved legislatures in any future free trade deals, but has explicitly ruled out any veto in negotiations being handed to the SNP.
‘’It is time the SNP truly embraced a trading future outside the European Union and worked with the UK Government to enter new trade deals with fast-growing economies globally, and does so only in a manner that is compatible with the existing United Kingdom’s devolution arrangements.’’
You can view Dean's speech below: