THE UK Government’s trade minister admitted she doesn’t know the impact of the New Zealand deal on GDP compared to the cost of Brexit during questioning from MPs.

Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who took over from now Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, was unable to answer when asked if she knew what the real term gain of the trade deal would be.

Under questioning from the chairman of the International Trade Committee on Wednesday, SNP MP Angus MacNeil, Trevelyan floundered when she was asked to give an estimate of the increase to GDP from the deal.

In October this year the UK Government agreed a free trade deal with New Zealand, but there were concerns raised about the impact this will have on farmers.

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Currently, only a tiny proportion of UK trade is done with New Zealand - less than 0.2%.

Appearing before the Westminster committee, Trevelyan was joined by Matthew Davies, the UK Chief Negotiator at the Department for International Trade.

MacNeil told the committee that he had previously tried to ask Prime Minister Boris Johnson what the GDP loss of Brexit is compared to the GDP increase of the New Zealand trade deal is at the Liason Committee, but Johnson didn’t know the answer.

He continued: “So for instance, given its 4.9% or 4% of GDP damage, what’s the increase from New Zealand?

“So if it's £400 let's say for every £400 or £490 lost to the UK economy of Brexit, what’s the gain of the trade deal with New Zealand for the UK economy?”

Trevelyan, looking towards Davies, responded: “Mr Chairman I haven’t done those statistics.

“I can ask my chief negotiator, have you thought about that in that way?

“Can we help the chairman with that one?”

Davies said simply: “No.”

He added: “We’ll be publishing the impact assessment when we sign and that’s when we’ll be assessing the GDP impact based on the deal that we have negotiated.

“I know you will be referring to the scoping assessment that was published obviously at the launch of negotiations …”

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MacNeil could be heard saying “I was” in response to Davies.

Davies continued: “But that was a static assessment based on a series of assumptions, and so what we will be doing is what we’ve committed to with all our deals.

“We'll be providing a full impact assessment which will ork out the range of impacts across the UK and New Zealand based on what’s actually in the deal.

“So that’s when we’ll be able to sort of understand our best case estimates.”

The National:

MacNeil (pictured above) said he would be very interested to see the figures as soon as they are made available.

He said: “The number that the Government provides at the moment are for every £400 or £490 that Brexit costs and the New Zealand trade deal will make back a pound, so I look forward to getting those figures when you have them.”

It comes as Trevelyan said there “isn’t a downside” to the UK-New Zealand trade deal as she was challenged by MPs about the impact the agreement will have on British farmers.

We previously told how farmers warned of “huge downsides” over the New Zealand deal.

The Tory government claims the deal will cut red tape for businesses and end tariffs on exports, but the National Farmers Union warned it would open the UK market to imports while the nations producers receive “almost nothing” in return.

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Trevelyan told the Commons committee the deal was “great” for farmers and that “protections” for the sector would be written into the terms.

The SNP’s Shadow International Trade Secretary Drew Hendry MP hit back and said there is no deal the UK could sign to make up for what was taken away through Brexit. 

He said: “Experts have already dismissed this deal as ‘miniscule’ and merely serves as something that the Secretary of State for International Trade can spin off as a ‘Brexit win’.

“Trade has winners and losers, and the Tories seem hell-bent on making the UK losers time and time again. ​

The National:

Trevelyan said the New Zealand deal was "good" despite concerns from farmers 

“Far from even listening to Scottish businesses and then dismissing them, it is clear that the stark warnings being expressed by all corners of the UK are being ignored as the Tories continue to sell out their interests.  

“After all, the UK government’s own analysis estimated that it will have almost zero impact on GDP, and in some assessments may actually have a negative impact.

“There is no shying away from it: Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster for Scotland and failing to acknowledge this reality only highlights how out-of-touch the Tories are.

“It is clear that the only way to escape the long-term damage of Brexit Britain is by re-joining the EU as an independent country.”