THE post-Brexit trade deals signed by the UK Government will leave the UK much worse off than it was in the EU, ministers have heard.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil raised the issue of how much money will be gained from deals with New Zealand, Australia, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the USA, compared to the damage done by Brexit.

MacNeil said that for every £490 lost due to Brexit all four trade deals combined would only make back £31.

Responding, international trade minister Ranil Jayawardena avoided the question and said the SNP are “anti-trade”.

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It comes just a week after Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan admitted she doesn’t know the impact of the New Zealand deal on GDP compared to the cost of Brexit.

At International Trade Questions, MacNeil, the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, said: “The minister will know the ratio of damage from Brexit to trade deals is quite substantial.

“Indeed, for pounds to gains, it is £490 Brexit damage to a gain of £1 made from New Zealand, £2 made from Australia, £8 gain from CPTPP and a £20 gain from America. That comes together to £31 if this happens.

“Where is the £459 from the Brexit damage that trade deals can’t make up?”

Minister Jayawardena replied: “We are working for every corner of our United Kingdom, backing British business, supporting Scottish jobs as much as those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at a time that the SNP want to cut themselves off from their largest market, the British internal market.

“The truth Mr Speaker is that the SNP are anti-trade.

“Not only do they want to cut themselves off from the United Kingdom but they also don’t back any trade deal with anyone.”

It comes as MPs quizzed ministers on a report in the Financial Times that said the US won’t lift steel tariffs if the UK triggers Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Labour called for Brexit Minister Lord Frost to “stop bungling” the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiations so that the US will end trade tariffs.

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Labour's shadow trade minister Gareth Thomas told the Commons: “Free trade negotiations with the US are vital to lifting Donald Trump’s tariffs on British steel and aluminium exports, which in turn are crucial to protecting jobs and businesses in communities across our country.

“Given that the US has already agreed to lift tariffs on many EU steel products, if we are to get a level playing field for our firms and our workers, might it not be time for Lord Frost to be given a little help to stop bungling discussions with the EU so this vital US-UK trade deal can be sorted?”

Jayawardena (pictured below) replied: “We will always stand up for the British national interest and that includes with the European Union. We will make sure that our United Kingdom remains strong and can trade with the world.

The National:

“The truth is America’s unjustified tariffs on steel and aluminium and derivatives imports from the UK are unfair and unnecessary.”

SNP MP MacNeil later asked the Government if they welcome “America keeping control” after the Financial Times report.

Trade minister Penny Mordaunt said that story “might be true in terms of how some people in the United States feel but it is a false narrative”.

She said: “These are two entirely separate issues.

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"My right honourable friend the Secretary of State will be discussing the issue of steel and other matters next week with her opposite numbers in the United States. But we don’t do ourselves any favours if we perpetuate these false narratives.”

Frost and EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic are currently in the middle of talks trying to find a solution to issues with the protocol. The discussion are expected to go into 2022. 

We previously told how Sefcovic warned of “serious consequences” for Northern Ireland and the relationship between the EU and UK if Article 16 is triggered.

The mechanism is a fail-safe which either side can use if the protocol is leading to serious “economic, societal or environmental difficulties” that are likely to persist.