Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has welcomed a commitment by the UK Government to maintain the highest food and animal welfare standards in any future trade deals.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said the announcement from International Trade Secretary Liz Truss of a Trade and Agricultural Commission had “put to bed” claims from the SNP and other political parties that food and animal welfare standards would be watered down.
The UK Government’s announcement has been welcomed by National Farmers unions across the United Kingdom.
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “This announcement from the UK Government is hugely welcome and, once again, confirms that they are committed to the highest possible food and animal welfare standards in any future trade deals.
“It puts to bed the scaremongering of the SNP and other political parties that food standards were not going to be protected, with all the implications that could have for our farming and rural communities.
“Farmers and crofters across the Highlands and Islands are in a great position to benefit from new trade deals which put the emphasis on quality, something which is central to Liz Truss’s statement.
“It’s also greatly encouraging to see that it focuses on those small and medium-sized businesses which make up much of the agriculture sector of my region.
“We can deliver a bright future for farming and crofting, one which allows us build on our reputation for excellence and the strength of our brands, and the Trade and Agricultural Commission will help us to achieve that.
“I very much hope the Scottish Government plays its part too as it is by partnership working that we will achieve the best outcomes for everyone concerned with the fortunes of our agricultural sector.”