New agricultural commission reaffirms commitment to food standards

Local politicians have welcomed the commitment from the UK Government to maintain the highest food and animal welfare standards in any future trade deals.

Rachael Hamilton MSP and John Lamont MP said that the announcement from International Trade Secretary Liz Truss of a Trade and Agricultural Commission has reaffirmed the UK Government will not make any concessions when it comes to food and animal welfare standards.

In a letter to NFU President Minette Batters, Liz Truss said: “I wholeheartedly agree that any trade deal the UK strikes must be fair and reciprocal to our farmers and must not compromise our high standards of food safety and animal welfare.”

Mr Lamont held a debate in the House of Commons last week highlighting that the UK Government was completely committed to upholding food, animal welfare and environmental standards in any trade deals.

John Lamont MP said: “This new commission will highlight trade opportunities for our hard-working British farmers as well as make recommendations on higher animal welfare across the world.

“The UK Government has been crystal clear on food standards in this country. There will be no chlorinated chicken imported. There will be no hormone injected beef imported. It is disappointing that so much misinformation has been spread around by opposition parties.

“Crucially, the EU Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing EU food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, on to the UK statute book, where they will be enshrined in law.

“I believe fantastic food and drink producers across the Borders should be able to sell their high quality products abroad and be enjoyed on kitchen tables everywhere. Striking trade deals across the world will make this all the more possible and help boost our economy.”

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Rachael Hamilton MSP said: “The UK Government have once again reiterated that British food produced to the highest standards will be maintained in new trade deals.

“Scaremongering from the likes of the SNP is ill-founded. Never in history has one country told another country, in trade deal negotiations, to lower its standards on food production to reach a deal.

“We value our hardworking farmers and appreciate the exceptionally high quality of the likes of our world-famous Scotch beef or lamb.

“Farmers can be rest assured that the real party standing up for the countryside is the Scottish Conservatives; whilst an ever increasingly Central Belt focussed SNP will continue to pander to the urban voter.”