COMMONS

International trade policy experts discuss Scotland's trade priorities

05 June 2018

The Scottish Affairs Committee opens their inquiry into trade and foreign investment with an evidence session featuring experts in international trade policy.

Future trade relations

The purpose of the inquiry is to examine Scotland's priorities for future trade relations with the EU and non-EU countries. This will include how the UK and Scottish governments should promote Scottish exports and the nation as a destination for foreign investment. Scotland's exports currently amount to £29.8 billion and comprise a range of sectors including food and beverages, professional services and manufacturing. Trade with the EU currently accounts for around £13 billion of this figure, and trade with the rest of the world £17 billion.

This opening session provides an overview of the international trading framework that Scotland operates in. It examines the role of factors such as tariff and non-tariff barriers, quotas and Free Trade Agreements in promoting or limiting access to markets and consider which sectors of the economy may benefit from a more open trading relationship with other nations.

The Committee also investigates options for the future trading relationship with the EU and the role devolved Government will play in shaping this, as well as the impact of competing models on the economy of Scotland.

Witnesses

Tuesday 5 June 2018, Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

From 10.15am:

  • Professor Andrew Scott, Professor of European Union, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Graeme Roy, Director of Fraser of Allander Institute
  • Dr Maria Garcia, Senior Lecturer, University of Bath
  • Dr Kristen Hopewell, Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, University of Edinburgh

Chair's comments

Ahead of the session, Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, Pete Wishart MP commented:

"The UK government is about to embark upon phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations and this will have a huge impact on Scotland's trading arrangements with the EU and the rest of the world. Scotland's international exports were worth around £29.8 billion a year in 2016 and many sectors are securing record export results particularly industries such as food and drink. We will be looking to see which areas may be particularly vulnerable under differing post-Brexit trade scenarios, and how the interests of Scotland will be represented in trade talks.

For Scotland to improve exports, it will be important to provide the best possible trading environment with nations inside and outside the EU. Equally, the Government will need to ensure that key sectors are protected. The Scottish brand is known and valued throughout the world and has benefited from legal protections. These industries will equally be viewed as a significant prizes for other nations in a trade deal and we will be looking to see how the UK Government can maintain their protection in the future."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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