During International Trade Questions this week I quizzed the Secretary of State on the assurances he could give to sheep farmers in Delyn that they will still be able to trade with Europe following 29 March 2019.
As it stands we only have confusion. Over 90% of our sheep products are exported to Europe and beyond and the lack of clarity is putting one of our most important industries at risk.
The Secretary of State only provided a glib response. The Government’s Withdrawal Agreement does not give the guarantees we need for the rural economy. Indeed, it is reported that even the Secretary of State has doubts and wants their to be a free vote to allow members of the Government to vote against it. If he doesn’t have faith in his own policy I cannot see why I should.
The US Government has threatened to impose a tariff to our steel A pause in the imposition of the tariff has been negotiated by the European Union but I wanted to know what the UK Government is doing to ensure the US knows that the 15% of all UK steel sent to America should be permanently exempt from any tariff.
The Secretary of State pointed out the flawed thinking of the US – as much of the steel we produce is of high quality and not made in the States or is used for their defence programmes. But this comes from the same Secretary of State who has promised everyone that he can secure the best trade deal ever imagined between the UK and US. He is proving this is not as easy as he first predicted.
On Thursday, I asked the Secretary of State for International Trade – the brand new Department created by the Prime Minister following the EU referendum result – what he made of the recent comments by the Japanese government on the UKs vote to leave the EU. Read more “International Trade Questions: Japan”