UK Government must consider Borders exporters in Brexit negotiations

Local MP John Lamont has today received an assurance that Borders based industries with international reach will be taken into account as part of the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Speaking at Questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland today (Wednesday 24th April), John Lamont sought “reassurance” that industries like textiles and food and drink in the Borders and across Scotland will be “taken account of as part of the Brexit negotiations so that they can take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit presents.”

In response, Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP gave that assurance and said that the UK Government was already talking to producers in the Borders and across Scotland.

The exchange came after the Prime Minister repeated the UK Government’s position that the UK will be leaving the EU’s customs union in order to be able to negotiate independent trade deals with the rest of the world.

Speaking afterwards, John Lamont MP said: “The UK Government is well aware of the importance of negotiating as free access to the EU market as possible. I am pleased that the Scottish Secretary is working closely with local businesses to ensure their voices are heard as part of these negotiations.

“While Brexit presents challenges for businesses, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that leaving the EU will mean we are able to negotiate independent trade deals with the rest of the world. This will only be possible if we leave the customs union.

“There is huge potential for Borders textiles and our excellent food and drink sector in key markets outside the EU, particularly the USA and China. Fishermen in Berwickshire are looking forward to being free of EU rules and the opportunity to sell their produce more easily elsewhere.

“With the right agreement between the UK and the EU alongside new trade deals with the rest of the world, there is potential to boost the international reach of many Borders businesses.”