Australia deal ‘makes mockery of climate targets and undermines Welsh farmers’
Liz Saville Roberts MP responds to UK-Australia trade deal announcement.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has today responded to the UK Government’s announcement of a trade deal with Australia by criticising the Prime Minister for having “made a mockery” of the UK’s climate targets and “undermined the long-term viability of our farming sector".
The deal sees the removal of tariffs and quotas on Australian products, including agricultural products. Plaid Cymru is concerned that Australian farming operates on a scale that Welsh farmers cannot compete with, using methods that would not comply with the high environmental and animal welfare standards of production in the UK.
The Plaid Cymru MP noted that Welsh beef and lamb is “among the most sustainable in the world”, a claim supported by a Bangor University study which placed Welsh beef and lamb farming towards the lowest end of CO2 emissions per kilo compared with studies conducted elsewhere in the world. She also warned that the deal “sets a dangerous precedent” that will see other large farming nations such as Brazil and the USA expecting “similarly favourable conditions”.
Ms Saville Roberts also echoed the concerns of the UK Trade and Business Commission – of which she is a member – that MPs are being denied a say over the terms of trade deals, calling on the UK Government to “urgently reverse their short-sighted decision and allow Parliament to reveal the full implications of both this trade deal and all future trade deals.”
Liz Saville Roberts MP said:
“Through this trade agreement, Boris Johnson has made a mockery of our climate targets and undermined the long-term viability of our farming sector in Wales.
“Despite Welsh beef and lamb being among the most sustainable in the world, the UK Government has fast tracked a deal that will see produce reared to much lower environmental standards flown or shipped half-way across the world into our markets. This is fundamentally at odds with Boris Johnson’s own alleged aim of leading the world on climate action.
“Worse still, this deal sets a dangerous precedent for the future. By surrendering to Australia’s conditions, the UK Government has opened the door to giant industrial meat producers such as Brazil and the USA expecting similarly favourable conditions.
“The Tories know the damage this will cause but have decided that grabbing powers and headlines for themselves is more important that holding up their trade deals to the light of scrutiny. For the sake of future generations, the UK Government must urgently reverse their short-sighted decision and allow Parliament to reveal the full implications of both this trade deal and all future trade deals.”