Liz Truss visits Glasgow and says Scottish businesses are ‘excited’ about Brexit
The Conservative International Trade Secretary said Scottish businesses were “excited” about Brexit during a visit to Glasgow.
Some 62% of Scots supported Remain in 2016 – the figure was even higher in Glasgow at 66%.
Liz Truss has been told she should use her trip north of the border to apologize to companies facing the consequences of Brexit.
SNP shadow spokesperson for international trade, Drew Hendry, pointed out that many companies here “are paying a heavy price because of his government’s extreme Brexit policy”.
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‘Time and time again the interests of Scottish businesses – including Scottish farmers and smallholders under the Australian trade deal – have been completely sidelined by the Conservative government,’ he said .
The Scottish fishing industry has been hit particularly hard by new post-Brexit regulations, with the Scottish Salmond Producers Organization warning that it faces an ever-evolving ‘bureaucratic quagmire’ that could seriously harm the sector.
Between 2016 and 2019, three quarters of Scottish seafood exports went to the EU – but now that the UK has left the single market, there are many more barriers to getting products to the continent. A delivery can require up to 80 pages of documentation, traders said.
Truss’ visit also comes as Scots increasingly notice gaps in the fresh fruit and vegetables available in supermarkets, with the UK battling a post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers to deliver the produce.
When asked if she would apologize to companies facing financial difficulties and even closure due to Brexit, Truss told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: ‘I have met many companies in Scotland. and what I heard is that they are very excited about the business opportunities around the world, for example we just witnessed the elimination of tariffs on whiskey as a result of the resolution of the Airbus-Boeing dispute. This means that whiskey distillers in Scotland now have more opportunities in the US market. ”
She told interviewer Gary Robertson that she did not meet fishermen but did so on previous trips to Scotland. Instead, she insisted that the FinTech companies she met in Edinburgh will have “lots of opportunities” going forward.
When asked if she had spoken to traders who disagreed with Brexit, Truss said: ‘I am not questioning the battles of the past, what I do is focused on opportunities futures for Scottish companies. ”
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Robertson pointed out that Brexiteers, like Truss, had claimed there would be sunny highlands, but after leaving the EU, many companies found they were in trouble.
“What I talked about are the opportunities that arise in the future and what we want to do is engage with Scottish businesses to make sure that the trade deals we negotiate reflect their interests, that we are attracting new investment in Scotland, ”she replied.
“The British made the decision to leave the European Union in 2016. My job is to make trade deals with the rest of the world that will improve opportunities here in Scotland. It is not a question of calling into question a referendum of 2016. ”