NEWS / Brexit

US wants UK to lower food standards in exchange for trade: US-UK trade talk notes leaked

Full papers from US-UK trade talks have emerged today. They expose the US Government's determination that the UK weaken its food and environmental standards in exchange for trade, and to prevent discussion of climate change.

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the Sustain food and farming alliance, said:

“These leaked documents are concrete proof that the risks to our food, farmers and the environment from a future US trade deal, which we have been flagging for years, are a clear and present danger.

“Here we have in writing US trade negotiators saying that if we retain the high British food standards that we enjoy as members of the EU, this would be the ‘worst case scenario’ for them. They appear desperate for us to loosen our food regulations so American food companies can send us products like chlorine-dipped chicken, hormone treated beef and animal products raised with high levels of antibiotics. The documents show that US negotiators even offered to help ‘inform the media narrative’ on controversial chlorine- and chemical-washed chicken to the British public.

Furthermore, they specifically state they want to be ‘ambitious’ and remove as many regulatory barriers to trade in agricultural products as possible, and vocally object to our hazard-based approach to pesticides.

“The notes of the last meeting in 2018 between UK and US trade negotiators show that the topics of animal welfare and the overuse of antibiotics in US farm animals was not raised at all, despite agriculture being on the agenda and clear evidence that US farmers use five times more antibiotics per animal than British farmers do.

“It is disgraceful that UK trade negotiators are actively discussing trading away our precious food and environmental standards, without checking with experts on standards, nor with the British public. The next government must urgently publish the UK’s negotiating objectives before any future talks with any country or trading bloc begin, and ensure our representatives in parliament can vote on trade deals.”



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Brexit: We stand at a cross-roads. When the UK leaves the European Union, will our leaders uphold good standards for our food, farming, fishing and trade deals? And will they agree a sensible deal with the EU? We need to make sure that they do!

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