Farmers, the environment and consumers in Dumfries and Galloway look set to benefit from the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) schedule, which was published this week.
Local MP and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack made the upbeat prediction as he welcomed the UK trade policy package, due to come into force on January 1, 2021.
The bespoke tariff regime is designed specifically for the UK and replaces the EU Common External Tariff which is currently applied to imports.
Mr Jack explained that the cost of thousands of household products could be cut as the changes reduce red tape.
Tariff levels were tailored, he pointed out, to benefit the UK economy and industries, particularly important during the coronavirus crisis recovery period.
Mr Jack explained that rural Dumfries and Galloway would benefit from ensuring import tariffs are maintained on lamb, beef, salmon and poultry coming into the country.
To promote a sustainable economy, the UK Global Tariff regime also includes cutting tariffs on more than 100 products to back renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon capture and recycling.
Mr Jack said: “Leaving the EU means the UK can set its own import tariffs tailored to benefit its own economy.
“The UK government has ensured Scotland’s farmers will be protected by maintaining tariffs on products including beef, lamb and poultry.
“We are determined to support our rural economy, as the world emerges from the coronavirus crisis, and the UK can look forward to a bright future of new opportunities outside the EU.
“In the past few days we have also launched our Pick for Britain Scheme which will allow people who are furloughed from their jobs to earn money getting in this year’s harvest, while continuing to be paid 80 per cent of their usual salary by the UK Government.
“In addition, we have progressed our Agriculture Bill which will help pave the way for free trade deals around the globe, bringing new export opportunities to Scottish farmers.
“Scottish farming is crucial to the country’s recovery, and the UK Government will do everything it can to support it.”