Rennie: Government need to explain secret China deal

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP, today called on the Scottish Government to give an urgent statement to Parliament on the collapse of a controversial agreement between the Government and two Chinese state firms.

The Sunday Times revealed this weekend that the controversial deal had collapsed in August, less than five months after it was signed. Willie Rennie was the first to uncover the controversies surrounding the Chinese companies in April and filed 28 parliamentary questions about them on the first day of the new parliamentary session. Cabinet Secretary John Swinney admitted in response that the Scottish Government had done no due diligence on the companies involved.

Mr Rennie said: 

"The Scottish Government must make an urgent statement to the Scottish Parliament. They must explain what recent discussions they have had with these Chinese companies, what lessons they have learned from this sorry episode and what new arrangements will be put in place to attract ethical investment for Scotland. The SNP has a chance to inject some much needed transparency for something that has been clouded in secrecy. 

"If anyone should be ashamed it should be the Scottish Government. Throughout this whole process groups such as Amnesty International and Transparency International expressed concerns but the SNP covered their ears and ploughed on regardless. They showed a casual disregard for human rights.

"Scotland has the potential to be a global hub for business but the track record of the SNP is letting that potential down."

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