A CALL is being made for a guaranteed role for the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament in trade deals negotiated by the UK after Brexit.

Proposals to protect Scottish interests will be set out in a new discussion paper being published today.

The paper will argue that the current UK arrangements for developing and agreeing trade deals are in need of an urgent overhaul.

It will make the case for a guaranteed role for the Scottish Government and Parliament in all stages of the formulation, negotiation, agreement and implementation of such deals in the future.

Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said: “The Scottish Government has argued consistently that the best future for Scotland and the UK is to remain in the EU, or at the least in the single market and customs union. But we must do everything we can to protect Scotland’s interests in future trade deals in all possible Brexit outcomes.

“The discussion paper makes a strong case for the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament having a guaranteed role in the development of trade arrangements and ensuring that the views of the Scottish Parliament are respected.

“This would bring clear benefits for Scottish producers, exporters and consumers – not least protecting Scotland’s NHS from being opened up to private competition, or opening up our markets to chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef.”

The paper is entitled Scotland’s Role in the Development of Future UK Trade Arrangements: A Discussion Paper.

The Scottish Government says its main purpose is to encourage a wide-ranging discussion about the best way to protect and enhance the interests of Scotland in the development of trade deals.

It will set out arrangements in other countries for involving devolved administrations, such as Belgium and Canada where the benefits of involving the provinces in the recent EU-Canada trade deal were widely recognised.