​14 November 2019

Today in the Scottish Parliament Scottish Labour will call out the SNP on its double standards regarding its relationship to the Trump White House and its attitude towards economic damage caused by tariffs.

Donald Trump has recently declared that trade tariffs may be imposed on Scottish export goods by the US and WTO.

Noting that the US is Scotland’s largest export market and one of our largest international trading partners, Scottish Labour’s amendment will call on the SNP to address past failures of the Scottish Government to stand up for Scotland in the face of US interests.

Scottish Labour will also call on the SNP to concede that in the event of Scottish Independence Scotland’s power to oppose US diktats will be compromised.

Rhoda Grant, who is leading the debate for Scottish Labour, said:

“The imposition of tariffs on Scottish trade with the US would be disastrous for many export industries, particularly our world-renowned Whisky industry which employs around 10,000 workers.

“Our fragile economy and our austerity-challenged workforce cannot be put at the mercy of protectionist US policy.

“The Government have a patchy record of standing up to the US. "While Nicola Sturgeon has condemned Donald Trump’s misogyny, the Government have extended privileges to allow the US Air-force use of the state-owned Prestwick Airport free of charge.

“We call on the Government to do everything it can to defend the interests of the workers and businesses of Scotland in the face of this threat.

“We ask the government to reflect on the cost of independence as well.

“If US tariffs will harm our economy so badly, what would be the result of being wrenched out of the UK with which Scotland conducts a whopping 60 per-cent of its trade with?

“The answer is more job losses and economic turmoil.

“While the Tories offer up our NHS to Trump in a race-to-the-bottom Brexit deal and the SNP continue to hand out freebies to the American armed forces, Scottish Labour will stand up to Trump and defend Scotland’s interests.
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