David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

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The updated EU-Mexico trade agreement, reached over the weekend, will result in zero duties on nearly all goods, including agricultural items - yet another reason the UK must remain in the customs union if it leaves the EU, states Scottish Labour MEP David Martin.

Under the agreement, Mexico will remove its high tariffs on many key EU food products such as pasta, chocolate, cheese, apples, pork and poultry, leading to an increase in EU exports of those products; meanwhile a UK parliamentary committee this week warned that without access to European markets, British exports of processed foods such as chocolate, cheese, beef and pork will suffer, while consumers will face higher prices and less choice on supermarket shelves.

The EU-Mexico trade agreement follows the finalising last week of free trade agreements with Japan and Singapore, and illustrates that while UK ministers just talk trade, the EU continues to sign new trade partnerships that will benefit EU consumers and businesses, highlighting once more how vital it is to remain in the customs union.

The agreement also contains binding commitments to protect workers' rights, and protect environmental and climate standards, and is also the first EU trade agreement to tackle corruption, including measures to fight bribery and money laundering.

David Martin MEP, Member of the European Parliament international trade committee, said:

“Tory ministers made big claims at last week’s Commonwealth Summit that they would make progress on new trade deals, on which they’ve once again failed to deliver, while the EU just gets on with it, adding Mexico to Japan and Singapore in the past few days alone.

“And while a Tory minister faces investigation for breaching money-laundering rules, the Mexico deal will be the first EU trade agreement to include measures to prevent and combat corruption, including making bribery a criminal offence for government officials, strengthening internal controls, external auditing and financial reporting, and tackling money laundering.

“Analysts predict Mexico’s economy will be the world´s seventh-largest by 2050, and offers many opportunities for British businesses. It is essential the UK does not leave the customs union and put up trade barriers with the EU and by extension Mexico and every other country the EU has a deal with.”

 

Notes:

1. Factsheet on EU-Mexico trade agreement: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-1447_en.htm

2. Business, energy and industrial strategy committee report on the impact of Brexit on the processed food and drink sector: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmbeis/381/381.pdf

3. Parliament watchdog opens investigation into health secretary’s admission he breached money laundering rules: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/18/jeremy-hunt-investigated-breach-money-laundering-rules-luxury-flats

4. BCC report on Mexico: http://exportbritain.org.uk/market-snapshots/mexico.html

David Martin MEP cites new EU-Mexico trade agreement yet another reason why UK must stay in customs union

The updated EU-Mexico trade agreement, reached over the weekend, will result in zero duties on nearly all goods, including agricultural items - yet another reason the UK must remain in...

As UK ministers continue to struggle to procure post-Brexit trade deals - most notably this week at the Commonwealth Summit - the European Union today formally approved free trade agreements (FTAs) with Japan and Singapore, highlighting once again the benefits of remaining in the EU customs union.

Scottish MEP David Martin, a member of the European Parliament’s international trade committee and rapporteur for the Singapore deal, said:

“While the UK government struggles to get anywhere with its post-Brexit trade planning, the EU continues to make progress on its trade deals. These new free trade agreements with Japan and Singapore will bring great benefits to the EU, and will pave the way for further trade deals with the countries of south-east Asia.

“The European Parliament has been at the forefront of advancing these deals, and we now urge the Council and national governments to conclude their procedures in enough time as to allow us to swiftly ratify the agreements and bring them into force.”

David Martin MEP added:

“For all the rhetoric of Tory ministers at the Commonwealth Summit this week, it is the EU that is actually going ahead and making free trade deals with Commonwealth countries, with the prospect of more to come - just this week Jacinda Ardern held talks with President Macron and Chancellor Merkel about advancing the deal with Australia and New Zealand.

“Liam Fox and David Davis keep claiming they will be able to wrap up trade deals quickly and easily, yet they lack both the EU’s capacity and clout to do so, and if the government persists with its policy of leaving the customs union, British exporters, importers, workers and the whole economy will suffer.”

David Martin MEP: As UK struggles to procure post-Brexit trade deals, EU finalises Japan and Singapore FTAs

As UK ministers continue to struggle to procure post-Brexit trade deals - most notably this week at the Commonwealth Summit - the European Union today formally approved free trade agreements...

Scottish MEP David Martin has warned the UK government that that in any new trade agreements, Britain must retain new EU laws designed to protect industries from the dumping of cheap imports which will threaten UK jobs.

Mr Martin is a is a long-time member of the European Parliament’s international trade committee and the Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on the protection against dumped imports legislation.

Speaking this week as the committee backed a draft deal on the modernisation of the EU’s trade defences Mr Martin said:

“The deals struck between the European Parliament and national governments on the protection against dumped imports are better than what we presently have in place.

“These are a big step forward towards a more progressive trade policy – for the first time, social and environmental standards will be taken into consideration when determining if dumping has taken place.

“I believe EU trade defence rules need to go further and forcefully tackle the dumping of cheap steel from China and others, but nevertheless, with these new rules, the EU will be better prepared to fight unfair trading practices.

“It is vital that post Brexit the UK does not water down these new measures. It is very worrying that the UK voted against the deal in the European Council. Thousands of jobs in the steel industry and elsewhere in the UK could then be at serious risk.”

Scottish MEP warns that UK must keep new EU laws to protect industries from cheap imports and save jobs

Scottish MEP David Martin has warned the UK government that that in any new trade agreements, Britain must retain new EU laws designed to protect industries from the dumping of...


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