According to Bloomberg, after Scottish and Welsh MPs urged the abolition of tariffs on meat, Boris Johnson left open the possibility of a trade agreement with Australia, which aims to eliminate tariffs on food products.
In response to the deputation, the British Prime Minister rejected the possibility, referring to “big things” that UK farmers could do with the country’s free trade agreements.
“Why are you so afraid of free trade?” Johnson asked Ian Blackford of the Scottish National Party. “There is a huge opportunity for Scotland and the whole of Britain and I should take advantage of it,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s responses envision support for an agreement with Australia that allows tariff-free access to the UK’s food markets.
However, the National Union of British Farmers has already warned that many farms would face severe difficulties if they had to compete with duty-free imports of beef and lamb.
Blackford explained, “Farmers will lose their livelihoods, rural businesses will collapse and families will eventually be forced out of the land.”