Trade and investment inquiry launch
12 March 2018
The Scottish Affairs Committee launches an inquiry to examine the impact of Brexit on trade and investment in Scotland.
This inquiry focuses Scotland's priorities for future trade relations with both EU and non-EU countries. The Committee will also look at how the UK and Scottish governments promote Scottish exports and Scotland as a destination for foreign investment.
Scotland's exports currently amount to £30 billion and comprise a range of sectors including food and beverages, professional services and manufacturing. Trade with the EU currently accounts for around £13 billion of this figure, and trade with the rest of the world £17 billion.
Launching the inquiry, Committee Chair Pete Wishart commented:
"The UK government is about to embark upon phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations and this will have a huge impact on Scotland's trading arrangements with the EU and the rest of the world.
Scotland's international exports were worth around £29.8 billion a year in 2016 and many sectors are securing record export results particularly industries such as food and drink.
We will be looking to see which areas may be particularly vulnerable under differing post-Brexit trade scenarios, and how the interests of Scotland will be represented in trade talks.
For Scotland to improve exports, it will be important to provide the best possible trading environment with nations inside and outside the EU.
Equally, the Government will need to ensure that key sectors are protected. The Scottish brand is known and valued throughout the world and has benefited from legal protections. These industries will equally be viewed as a significant prizes for other nations in a trade deal and we will be looking to see how the UK Government can maintain their protection in the future."
Call for written submissions
The Committee invites evidence on the following questions:
- What are Scotland's priorities for future trade relations with the EU? How could these be best met in a future UK-EU trade deal?
- What opportunities will there be, following the UK's withdrawal from the EU, for increasing Scottish exports to non-EU nations? How can these opportunities be maximised?
- How well do the UK Government's trade priorities address those areas which are most important to Scotland?
- What influence should the devolved administrations have over future UK trade policy, and how should this be provided for?
- How do the UK and Scottish governments promote Scottish exports, the Scottish "brand", and foreign investment in Scotland, how well do they coordinate their activities, and how could this be improved?