AUSTRALIA’S deputy prime minister has admitted he isn’t concerned about the impact his government’s trade deal with the UK will have on farmers in the devolved nations.

Michael McCormack said his only concern was for his own country’s farmers as he talked up the economic benefits of the agreement – sparking demands for the Scottish Tories to rebel against their Westminster bosses.

The UK Government wants to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership with countries including Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Farmers and animal welfare campaigners are concerned the deal with Australia will lead to cheaper imports undercutting UK meat, which is produced to higher standards. This has led to fears that Scottish farmers will be put out of business, with Boris Johnson yesterday accused by the SNP of “literally giving the farm away”.

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McCormack, however, is delighted with the deal, which is predicted to boost the Austrialian economy.

He told the Today programme: “The big winners are Australian producers, Australian farmers, indeed Australians full stop. This could be 1.3 billion [Australian] dollars boost to the economy.”

McCormack heralded the prospect of “68 million [UK] customers bidding for Australia’s wonderful chops, wonderful sheep meat, but beef as well, sugar…”

The deputy PM added: “Duty-free access to UK markets and eventually, over a period of between eight and 10 years for those agricultural commodities, there won’t be any tariffs at all.”

McCormarck was asked about the concerns of farmers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who have warned the free market access could dilute standards and run them out of business.

He replied: “I’m not so worried about those ones you mentioned … I always put Australians first. I’m worried and concerns about Australian producers. I want what’s best for them.”

Those comments prompted SNP politicians to demand a U-turn from the Scottish Tories, who have refused to speak out against the deal.

MSP Jim Fairlie tweeted: “I’m paraphrasing ‘Australian beef sheepmeat and sugar producers, these are big wins and big numbers for our produces’. So where are the big wins for Scotland’s producers @Douglas4Moray?”

READ MORE: SNP rubbish Alister Jack's claim Australia deal is 'huge opportunity' for Scots

MP Chris Law added: “So the Tories shafted Scottish fisherman over Brexit and now we know this Aussie deal will shaft our farmers.”

He urged Ross and Alister Jack “to stand up for our farmers”.

The SNP have previously called for the Scottish Conservative leader to speak out on the deal, which Downing Street has repeatedly refused to say would not introduce hormone-injected beef to the UK.

Writing in the Scottish Farmer in October 2020, Ross promised to be “out there on the frontline with farmers saying no, never” should such a situation ever arise.

The Scottish Secretary, however, has argued that the post-Brexit agreement is a “huge opportunity” for Scottish producers.

He said last week: “I think it will also take us into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it’s a gateway deal into that, which is a huge, huge opportunity for Scotland’s food and drink industry.”

The Scottish Tories have been approached for comment.