14 organisations write to @trussliz with concerns on Australia deal, the process behind it & what it means for the future.

Tl;dr: we should be ambitious on trade. But rushed deals can harm business, communities & our global reputation
The letter has three key calls for action:
👉start engaging with industry & experts on FTAs (avoid repeat of Brexit). Scrutiny is important.
👉respond to Trade & Agri Commission report & implement recommendations
👉impact assessments matter, so do them on all FTAs.
‼️When it comes to future UK trade deals, there’s a central point of importance for our food and farming industry:
We value world class standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety.
So do consumers.
We undermine them at our peril.
Driving sales in overseas markets is a key priority for Scottish food & drink.
So being ambitious for trade deals is a good thing.
But (to state the v. obvious!), trade is complex & some markets/communities/standards are highly sensitive.
So details, not headlines, matter.
We want to work in collaboration with UKGov on trade. But that’s tough to do when everything happens behind closed doors.
This recommendation from the Trade & Agri Commission is key. And currently, it couldn’t be further from reality.
Trade deals done in the dark won’t end well.
Some final thoughts (for now) on all this.

We need to get UK trade policy right, because the price of failure is too high.


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More from @scotfoodjames

23 Mar
I know Twitter isn’t often a place for empathy & understanding, especially on Brexit🇪🇺🇬🇧
But a short 🧵 on why business & their staff need a bit just now.
For those saying to businesses like @LochfyneLangous below “You should have known what was coming!”, a few reflections...
When @BorisJohnson said on Xmas Eve “there will be no non-tariff barriers” it wasn’t a one-off error. It was a pattern over months & yrs of saying barriers wouldn’t exist when they would. Can we blame businesses if they’re now shocked at what they face?

Even on 1 Jan, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said there was no border in the Irish Sea. There were many trade experts who knew the reality & tried to warn us (thank you!), but denial of reality, big red buses and accusations of “Project Fear” got more airtime.
Read 9 tweets
29 Jan
BREXIT; a 🧵 at the end of week 4.
Spoiler alert: it’s not good.
➡️It’s turns out that UKGovt saying things are getting better or that it’s “teething problems” doesn’t make it so.
➡️There is much more trouble ahead.
➡️The worrying parallels between Brexit and Covid responses.
Four reasons things will worsen:
1. freight volumes aren’t close to normal, they’ll rise.
In April (8 weeks):
2. the 1st real checks on EU imports start (bad news for food flow & haulage availability)
3. GB/NI grace periods end
4. more food products fall under new export rules
❗️Warning, we’ve been here before:
- Experts warn of trouble coming
- A short window to act
- UK Govt hopes it will all be OK, ignores evidence & warnings.
- Fails to act until too late.
For previous episodes, see end of the transition period (and Covid strategy)
Read 10 tweets
11 Jan
The reality of Brexit so far for many.
As of tonight, consolidated food loads are still not being taken to the EU by the main logistics firms. This food supply chain is now complex, costly & had no time to test its new systems. The result: EU trade has ground to a halt for many.
Daily meetings/calls trying to work through Brexit blockages. Problems so far include:
➡️Companies & hauliers struggling with paperwork
➡️IT systems in UK & France going down
➡️Food loads stuck because official product codes can’t be found
All efforts going into solutions
➡️Another session tmrw led by @SeafoodFromScot @ScotDevInt with companies on specific problems
➡️@FSScot has good resource at hubs. Logistics firms putting more staff in too
➡️Ministerial dialogue at Scottish & UK level
However, a key UKGov ask👇
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
More messages from food exporters who are finding the door to the EU is now shut. Haulage firms won’t take their loads; bureaucratic/IT systems failing.
A multi-billion pound trade system is being tested for the 1st time, in real time. And it’s going wrong
Brexit, week 1 was bad. Week 2 will be worse.
UK Govt’s dismissal of the request from us (& most main business orgs) for a grace period was a critical mistake. By this time next week, pressure to revisit that will be even greater. Emergency financial aid may also be necessary.
The crux of all this is sheer complexity & lack of prep time. For a product that has 24hrs to get to market, small delays at diff points are crippling. This is the “simplified” 18-step process for moving fish from Scotland to France. This, on top of 8-step process for importers
Read 6 tweets

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