Environment Secretary Michael Gove appeared today before the parliamentary committee on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
He said that the UK will not accept a lowering of food hygiene standards in any trade negotiations with the USA. This commitment comes despite previous comments by the US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, who stated that the UK would have to lower its standards and accept products such as chlorine-washed chickens if it wanted to achieve any UK-US trade agreement.
Commenting, Ben Bradshaw MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“Ministers’ promises of securing dozens of new trade deals by the time we leave the EU have again been exposed as a complete sham.
“Earlier this month, the US Commerce Secretary came here and made clear we’d have to lower our food standards in order to get a trade deal with the US. Now Michael Gove seems to be categorically ruling that out, which means a trade deal with Trump’s America won’t be happening anytime soon.
“Even if Liam Fox and Jacob Rees-Mogg get their way and the Government eventually accepts Frankenstein foods like chlorine chicken and hormone beef, any trade deal would still take years to negotiate.
“The fantasy benefits of Brexit are vanishing by the day, and it is increasingly clear that imaginary new trade deals will not make up for the devastating cost of leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union.”
Notes to editors:
The reporting on Michael Gove’s comments can be found here.
The reporting on US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ comments can be found here.