Chlorine-washed chicken is NOT on the table: Trade Secretary Liz Truss insists a ban on controversial US farm produce is ‘already in law’ and will not be changed
- Activists warned a post-Brexit US trade deal could let in chlorinated chicken
- Miss Truss said a ban on controversial US farm produce was ‘already in law’
- She said she would rather walk away than agree a ‘bad deal’ for the sake of it
Chlorinated chicken is not on the table during trade talks with the United States, the Trade Secretary Liz Truss said yesterday.
Miss Truss said a ban on controversial US farm produce, including chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef, was ‘already in law’ and would not be changed as part of trade talks.
Giving evidence to MPs on the Commons international trade committee yesterday, she also struck a notably tougher stance, saying she would rather walk away than agree a ‘bad deal’ for the sake of it.
‘Throughout the negotiations this Government will be fighting for Britain’s best interests,’ she said.
‘To coin a once familiar phrase, no deal is better than a bad deal.
Lizz Truss said a ban on controversial US farm produce, including chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef, was ‘already in law’ and would not be changed as part of trade talks
‘We are not going to rush into a deal. There is no deadline. And we will be tough in pressing our interests. When it comes to food, we will never lower our standards in order to sign a trade deal.
‘Not only that but we will never sign a trade deal that leaves our farming industry with its high animal welfare standards worse off.’
In response, committee chairman Angus MacNeil said: ‘A lot of fighting talk. I hope Donald Trump was not listening otherwise he may start tweeting.’
Farmers and environmental groups have warned that a post-Brexit US trade deal could let in products such as chlorinated chicken, which are currently banned under EU law.
A poll of more than 2,000 carried out for consumer group Which? yesterday found that 86 per cent were worried that a weakening of standards under a US deal could lead to currently banned products appearing in British shops.
But Miss Truss yesterday insisted the fears were misplaced.
‘There has been a lot of scaremongering,’ she said. ‘This is not something I am negotiating.’
She said that the EU Withdrawal Act makes clear that health and animal welfare standards will be maintained after Brexit.
Miss Truss also highlighted the importance of removing barriers that prevent farm products, such as British lamb, being sold on the other side of the Atlantic.
‘The US talks a good game about free trade and low tariffs but the reality is that many UK products are being kept unfairly out of their market,’ she said.
- Donald Trump last night threatened crippling tariffs on £2.5billion worth of European goods. Items such as British beer, gin and biscuits as well as Spanish olives and German trucks could be hit by duties of up to 100 per cent – doubling their price in the US. The President wants to cut US reliance on imports.