News / Sustain

Response to Brexit White Paper - global trade ambitions could mean bargain bin Britain

Whilst we applaud the ambition to build a better Britain, the Government's White Paper doesn't give the reassurance that what will come in the wake of Brexit won't lead to lower standards for consumers, workers and the environment.

On publication today of the White Paper on exiting from the EU,
Ben Reynolds, Deputy Chief Executive of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming said that:
 
“Given the huge importance of the UK farm and food system to our economy and health and wellbeing, we welcome the commitment to design “new, better and more efficient policies for delivering sustainable and productive farming, land management and rural communities.”
 
"We hope the detail that follows this statement of intent from the Government backs up this position and that we don’t race towards becoming a bargain bin Britain, with lower quality standards in the food we eat and the farming we support.
 
"There must be no weakening of rules on environment, pesticides, animal welfare, workers rights or food safety to both protect public health and ecosystems but also to ensure we are able to continue to sell goods in global markets where such standards are expected. To ensure this we believe it is important to take time to design a new agriculture support system for farmers, which ensures a healthy environment and other public benefits, given the huge impact any policy changes will have on farm viability."
 
Ruth Westcott, Sustainable Fish Cities Coordinator commented, "Whilst it is encouraging that government are committed to a sustainable and profitable seafood sector and deliver a cleaner, healthier and more productive marine environment, there is no detail at all about how they will do this. Given that Government will be negotiating access to fishing in precious UK waters, they need to be much more explicit about setting all fishing rights based on science-based criteria, to ensure our already at risk fish stocks rebuild to sustainable levels, and our future marine resources aren’t sacrificed in favour of short term profitability"
 

“With so much at stake if we overfish our fragile stocks, Government must be clear that they will embrace a progressive fishing policy with EU partners. This means building on the standards already agreed between policy makers, the fishing sector and marine specialists especially on science-based catch limits, the discard ban, allocating quota on sustainability criteria and the Marine and Water framework directives”

ENDS
Contact Sustain on 02070650902, Ben Reynolds on 07939202711 or ben@sustainweb.org, Ruth Westcott on 07808088441 ruth@sustainweb.org  
 
Notes
1. Sustain coordinated a response by over 90 organisations urging the Brexit Government to take control to take control of food, farming and fisheries for public good. https://www.sustainweb.org/news/jul16_brexit_press/

2 Feb 2017
Sustain

Sustain: Sustain The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.

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