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UK News Ministers bow to pressure to enforce food standard in post-Brexit deal

03:40  01 november  2020
03:40  01 november  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Union and consumer groups warn post - Brexit trade policy must hold food imports to same standards as UK. Farmers, environmentalists and consumer groups are pressing the government to honour its manifesto pledge not to undermine food standards with low-quality imports in a post - Brexit trade

Boris Johnsin is under mounting pressure to enshrine UK food standards in law to protect farmers in post - Brexit trade deal negotiations. The Government is resisting calls to enshrine food standards in law, with ministers arguing such a move is unnecessary because they have no intention of letting

a close up of Elizabeth Truss with pink hair looking at the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Ministers have bowed to pressure to enforce high British food standards in post-Brexit deals by beefing up a new commission designed to give farmers 'a stronger voice in UK trade policy'.

The move, announced by two Cabinet Ministers in an article for The Mail on Sunday, is a significant step forward for this newspaper's Save Our Farms campaign.

Elizabeth Truss wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) would now be placed 'on a full statutory footing' to scrutinise trade deals © Provided by Daily Mail International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) would now be placed 'on a full statutory footing' to scrutinise trade deals

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, said the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC), which was set up in the summer, would now be placed 'on a full statutory footing' to scrutinise trade deals.

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London does not plan to lower standards when negotiating post - Brexit trade deals , the minister noted. This comes after in January, UK retail giants, including Marks&Spencer, KFC and McDonald’s, have warned lawmakers that a no- deal Brexit will cause major disruptions in the food supply chain

Top British ministers were in Washington on Aug 7 as they tried to fast-track a trade deal with the US for the post - Brexit era. Foreign Minister Dominac

It will also produce a report about the impact on animal welfare and agriculture of each future deal the Government signs after our European Union exit transition period ends on January 1.

The major concessions – including a new duty to report to Parliament over the food and environmental impact of trade deals – follow fears that sub- standard US foods such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef could undercut quality UK produce.

But the moves also come after repeated warnings from campaigners – including TV chefs Jamie Oliver and Prue Leith – that much more had to be done to strengthen protection for UK farmers in post-Brexit deals.

And it follows rebellions – led in the Commons by senior Tory MP Neil Parish and in the Lords by crossbench peer Lord Curry – over claims that Ministers' original plans for a temporary food commission were 'toothless'.

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BREXIT trade talks seem set to remain in stalemate after a French Minister warned the UK it would not budge on the country's demands. French Minister for European Affairs in Paris, Clement Beaune, sent a stark warning to the UK over Brexit trade talks as he said the EU would stick by its principles.

Boris Johnson has long argued for an ambitious free trade agreement with Washington post - Brexit , seeking to open up opportunities for British businesses and investors, amid warnings from critics that a deal with the US will require accepting looser US food and environmental standards

In their article, Ms Truss and Mr Eustice seek to assuage those concerns by claiming that Britain 'as a nation of animal lovers' would lead by example in the post-Brexit world.

They reaffirm that 'chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef are already banned in the UK and we will not negotiate to remove that ban in a trade deal'.

Crucially, they announce that a Government amendment to the Agriculture Bill will bolster 'parliamentary scrutiny of free trade agreements' and the commission 'will be made a statutory body which will give independent advice on trade deals as they go through Parliament'.

More than one million people signed a National Farmers' Union petition to protect British food standards.

George Eustice wearing a suit and tie: In their article, Ms Truss and Mr Eustice (pictured) seek to assuage those concerns by claiming that Britain 'as a nation of animal lovers' would lead by example in the post-Brexit world © Provided by Daily Mail In their article, Ms Truss and Mr Eustice (pictured) seek to assuage those concerns by claiming that Britain 'as a nation of animal lovers' would lead by example in the post-Brexit world

And last night, NFU president Minette Batters said the Government compromise would be 'hugely welcomed by Britain's farmers'.

Ms Batters, who met Boris Johnson last month over the matter, said it was 'clear to me how much he personally cares'.

She added: 'I'm delighted that he has led the Government to draw a line in the sand and commit to the 2019 Conservative manifesto commitment not to undermine our farmers in future trade deals.'

Mr Parish, chairman of the Commons' Environment Committee, said: 'I pay tribute to the Government for listening and getting on the front foot, beefing up this commission and showing a real desire to uphold high standards in new trade deals.'

Read more

Joe Biden 'will rip up Donald Trump's post-Brexit trade template' .
They claim Mr Biden will ease concerns that Britain will be forced to accept sub-standard American food - such as chlorinated chicken - as the price for a lucrative trade deal with Washington. Sources said the President-Elect will switch away from Mr Trump's plan for a boutique deal with the UK in favour of a multi-lateral approach – potentially involving a trans-Pacific trade partnership where high food standards would be maintained.

usr: 0
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