TRADE deals with Australia and New Zealand are “hugely disappointing” and undermine Scottish farmers, a Scottish Government minister has said.

Rural Affairs Minister, Mairi Gougeon, said the deals would undercut domestic producers and allow foreign exporters unfettered access after a transition period.

In a letter to the UK’s Trade Policy Minister, Penny Morduant, she said farmgate prices for New Zealand beef were up to 30% lower than Scottish prices.

She also said Australian producers adhered to lower animal welfare standards than their UK counterparts.

The New Zealand agreement was signed in February, while the Australian agreement was signed in December.

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Tory minister claimed the post-Brexit agreements would boost trade and cut tariffs on imports to the UK.

In her letter, Gougeon said: “It is not just the Scottish Government that is concerned with this trade deal.

“The view from industry is clear: trade deals that the UK Government have signed, which provide Australian and New Zealand exporters unfettered access to the UK market following a short transitional period, despite operating to lower cost and regulatory standards, will undercut domestic agri-food producers.”

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She continued: “All in all, it is hugely disappointing that these first, from scratch, trade deals have compromised the interests of Scottish farmers, crofters and food producers so comprehensively and in so many different ways.

“These trade deals are evidentially not delivering the outcomes that people were promised if they voted to leave the EU.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for International Trade said the Scottish Government’s comments on the Australia and New Zealand trade deals are “disappointing.”

She said: “We have engaged with the Scottish Government throughout the negotiations, both at official and ministerial level, and explained the benefits and protections that both deals secure.

“It is disappointing that the Scottish Government has not recognised this in its communications.”

She added: “Scottish farmers will continue to thrive under our deals with New Zealand and Australia, which pave the way to joining the £8.4 trillion Indo-Pacific CPTPP free trade area.

“We will not expose UK farmers to unfair competition or compromise our high standards.

“That is why the deals contain protections for the agriculture industry, including gradual liberalisation for products such as beef and sheep meat over a period of up to 15 years, and a safety net that allows tariffs or restrictions to be reimposed if the industry faces serious harm.”