THE UK Government has been accused of “becoming a parody of itself” after contradicting one of Boris Johnson’s key Brexit promises in a job advert.

A listing for a top trade role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) includes the term “technical trade barriers” in the job description – despite the Prime Minister vowing as recently as December 30 that there would be no such thing.

The £71,000 Defra role – EU and international trade deputy director – is said to cover “trade policy, trade strategy, trade implementation and trade negotiations”.

The advert continues: “This includes, but may not be restricted to, roles that cover the following areas: Trade Policy, including biosecurity standards (also known as sanitary and phytosanitary standards), environment and sustainability, technical barriers to trade.”

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The National:

And yet less than two weeks ago, Johnson insisted in a BBC interview that his Brexit deal ensured the UK "will not have any barriers to trade with the EU".

The agreement struck with Brussels introduces considerable trade obstacles in the form of customs declarations, export health checks, regulatory checks, rules of origin checks and conformity assessments.

Urged to admit there will be additional barriers for businesses, Johnson conceded merely that there “will be changes”.

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine condemned the UK Government over the contradiction highlighted in the job advert.

She told The National: "This Tory government is becoming a parody of itself as it now admits there will be technical barriers to trade despite assuring us for years that there would be no such thing.

"It is an insult that Westminster is only now looking to recruit people who can get round these barriers when they've known all along there would be barriers – despite constantly insisting there would be none.”

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McAlpine added: "No matter who the UK Government brings in to work on trade deals for the future, nothing will compare to the deal Scotland already had with the EU and other countries as full members of the European Union.

"The only way Scotland will be able to lift trade barriers and open up once again to the international community is by becoming an independent country."

When contacted for comment, Defra maintained the Government has always acknowledged that there will be some friction in trade as a result of Brexit.

It insisted the Prime Minister, in his remarks to the BBC, was referring to the claim his deal will guarantee tariff-free trade with the EU.

However, under the agreement struck by the Tory government, products are subject to tariffs if more than 40% of its pre-finished value is neither of British nor EU origin.

Some EU companies have also said they will not sell their products in Britain because they would have to register in the UK for VAT.