Chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef will not be allowed into the UK under any trade deal with the US, the Environment Secretary has told the BBC countryfile programme.
In an exclusive interview, Theresa Villiers said that the current EU ban on such imports will be carried over into UK legislation following Brexit.
Ms Villiers said: “We will not be importing chlorinated-chicken. We will not be importing hormone-treated beef. Both of those are illegal under EU law, which we are importing into our domestic system. There are legal barriers to their import and those are going to stay in place.”
Ms Villiers said the Government would “hold the line” in any trade negotiations with the US and would “defend our national interests and our values, including our high standards of animal welfare”.
It is the first time the Government has explicitly stated that chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef imports into the UK will not be allowed regardless of any new trade deal with the USA.
It is a welcome statement and NFUS is looking for the Government to honour its pledge of creating a Standards Commission to oversea all future trade deal negotiations to ensure our production and welfare standards are recognised.
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “This is welcome clarification from the Secretary of State on her commitment to protecting the high standards of welfare and production in the UK when negotiating future trade deals, whether that be with the USA or elsewhere.
“To further endorse that position and ensure protection is firmly in place , the Government must still deliver on its promise of a Standards Commission.
“The need for it is even greater now that future trading agreements are going to take centre stage from the Withdrawal Agreement after 31 January. We cannot be asked to produce to the highest of world standards then allow our markets and viability to be undermined by competition from places where these standards are disregarded or are illegal. That cannot be bargained away in any circumstances and a Commission would provide the reassurance sought by the industry.”
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