The UK government has been accused of “becoming a travesty of itself” after contradicting one of Boris Johnson’s key Brexit promises in a job posting.
A listing for a leading business role at the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) includes the term “technical barriers to trade” in the job description – though the prime minister has sworn no later than December 30 that there would be no such thing.
Defra’s role of £ 71,000 – deputy director of European and international trade – would cover “trade policy, trade strategy, trade implementation and trade negotiations”.
The announcement continues: “This includes, but is not limited to, roles which cover the following areas: trade policy, including biosafety standards (also known as sanitary and phytosanitary standards), environment and sustainability, technical barriers to trade. ”
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And yet, less than two weeks ago, Johnson insisted in a BBC interview that his Brexit deal guaranteed that the UK “will have no barriers to trade with the EU.”
The agreement with Brussels introduces significant trade barriers in the form of customs declarations, export health checks, regulatory checks, rules of origin checks and conformity assessments.
Pressed to admit that there will be additional hurdles for business, Johnson simply admitted that “there will be changes.”
SNP MP Joan McAlpine condemned the UK government for the contradiction highlighted in the job posting.
She told the National: “This Conservative government is becoming a travesty of itself, as it now admits there will be technical barriers to trade, although it has assured us for years that it there would be no such thing.
“It is an insult that Westminster is only now seeking to recruit people who can bypass these barriers when they knew from the start that there would be barriers – despite the constant insistence that there would not be any . ”
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McAlpine added: “It doesn’t matter who the UK government engages in future trade deals, nothing will compare to the deal Scotland had already made with the EU and other countries as members. full part of the European Union.
“The only way for Scotland to remove trade barriers and reopen itself to the international community is to become an independent country.”
When contacted for comment, Defra maintained that the government had always recognized that there would be friction in trade due to Brexit.
He insisted that the prime minister, in his remarks to the BBC, was referring to the claim that his deal would ensure tariff-free trade with the EU.
However, under the agreement reached by the Conservative government, products are subject to tariffs if more than 40% of their pre-finished value is neither of British nor European 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.
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