THE UK Government has been condemned for "hammering Scottish farmers" as its own impact assessment outlines the damage a post-Brexit trade deal is set to inflict.

A free trade agreement between the UK and Australia was agreed in principle in June and was just signed off on Friday, without devolved nations being involved in negotiations or given the opportunity to scrutinise it.

Farmers and the Scottish Government have expressed significant concern due to the expected increase in agricultural imports from Australia as well as the increase in emissions for more imports coming from a country thousands of miles away from the UK.

The UK Government’s Impact Assessment shows the deal will increase UK GDP by just 0.08% over 15 years. It also shows reductions in output in the UK agriculture and semi-processed sectors over the same time period.

The impact assessment also suggests that carbon emissions from aviation and maritime transport could increase between 31% and 40% as a result of this deal.

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Aspects of the deal - such as tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) - could be more advantageous for Australian producers and allow them to potentially flood the market with specific cuts of beef and lamb, which risks undercutting Scotland's food producers.

It also highlights that there are no protections in place - despite repeated calls from the Scottish Government - to maintain the high animal welfare and environmental standards in place in the UK, which again threatens to undermine Scotland's food and farming communities.

The SNP's shadow international trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP said: "Despite the repeated warnings, the Tory government has ploughed ahead with its damaging post-Brexit plans - which will hammer Scottish farmers and our key industries.

"Beyond the rhetoric, the UK Government's own assessment makes clear that this trade deal with Australia will open up the market to cheaper imports of goods produced to lower animal welfare standards - which will undermine and undercut Scotland’s farmers, crofters and food producers.

"Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster and it is our economy, businesses and people's livelihoods that are being forced to pay a heavy price - with the UK Government’s own economic analysis suggesting that this deal will increase GDP by just 0.08%, while Brexit would lead to a 4.9% contraction in GDP."

The Scottish Government has described the fact that it has had no direct role in the trade negotiations and only saw the impact assessment on Wednesday as "unacceptable" while Holyrood will have no opportunity to scrutinise the deal.

They are also calling on the UK to ensure imports are produced to the same standards as the UK.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have always expressed our concern that this deal would be bad for Scotland’s farming communities. The UK Government has opened the door to imports of Australian beef and lamb produced cheaper and to lower animal welfare standards, directly impacting on Scotland’s farmers, crofters and food producers.  

“We call on the UK Government to ensure that any Australian imports are produced to equivalent animal welfare and environmental standards to those that Scottish farmers adhere to."

An increase in cheaper Australian imports will also mean these products travel thousands of miles, increasing the output of harmful CO2 emissions in the process.

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The spokesperson added: “It is concerning that the text lacks commitments to specific temperature goals in respect of the Paris Agreement, while the UK Government’s own impact assessment suggests the deal will lead to an increase in carbon emissions from transport, going directly against our goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2045.

“Modelling also shows agriculture and semi-processed food sectors are expected to lose out as a result of this deal.

“While there may be some opportunities for sectors, including whisky, it is important that these don’t come at the expense of Scotland’s farming communities. We should be involved in any decision-making process around trade-offs in deals to ensure that Scotland’s economic and other interests and priorities are taken into account.”