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Fox among the chickens

July 24, 2017 2:21 PM

There are dangers for British agriculture and for consumers as the UK government attempts to do trade deals with the world. Those dangers include undercutting by cheap imports and relaxation of animal welfare standards. Here's a Lib Dem press release. Please excuse the chicken jokes.

Fox running into trade negotiations like a headless chicken - Farron

Commenting on reports that Liam Fox is happy to import US chlorinated chicken as part of a UK-US trade deal Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

"Liam Fox is running into these trade negotiations like a headless chicken.

"Parliament will not back a reduction to food standards as part of the repeal bill. This is a betrayal of British poultry farmers who currently work to the highest standards in the world. Liam Fox's dangerous grovelling to the US is only going to see his chickens come home to roost.

"The government knows that it is on the back foot in these trade negotiations but poisoning the nation's food supply and wrecking the British poultry industry should not be on the table."



EU regulation 853/2004 says that only water to remove surface contamination from animal products is allowed and any another substance like chlorine needs to specifically have been approved by the EU

That regulation will be transposed into UK law under the repeal bill and should require a majority in Parliament to scrap

The poultry producer Moy Park is the largest private sector employer in Northern Ireland, employing 6,300, and would risk being undercut by cheap US imports.

George Eustice told the DUP in March 2017:

"The final thing I would mention on trade is the US, which is a major producer and exporter. I am aware that there are concerns about the standards of production in the US. It has lower standards of animal welfare and lower standards of food safety, and it allows approaches that are not currently allowed in the European Union, such as chlorine washes. It is important, as we contemplate any future trade deal, that we do not put our industry at an unfair disadvantage, as the hon. Gentleman pointed out, and we will clearly take very earnest account of that as we consider future trade deals"