In a “major opportunity” for the UK, Brexit has given Britain the chance to explore a new era for the farming and food industry, the Trade and Agriculture Commission has stated. Due to the commission’s report, Remainers who fear a drop in standards – in particular concerning a deal with the US – should be reassured, chair of the commission Tim Smith said. Released today, the Commission called on principles such as ensuring all imports meet UK standards on food safety and biosecurity going forward.
In doing this, the Commission also called for the UK to continue to push for green goals.
They said: “UK trade policy must be ambitious and the agreements that are negotiated need to tackle the issues of the next generation, not just this one.
“Our focus must be on long-term gains, not short-term expediency.
“Both Government and business need to adapt, learning the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and reflecting the generational shift in the priorities of consumers.
“We see opportunities for all and are optimistic about the future for the UK as an independent trading nation.”
Although not agreed, there had been fears the UK may drop its high animal welfare standards to sign a trade deal with the US.
Indeed, some US officials have demanded the UK adhere to its rules over chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef if a deal is to be agreed.
However, if the requirements set out in the report are followed, Mr Smith claimed the UK has nothing to fear.
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Problems may lie over the scrutiny from MPs concerning future trade deals, however.
The House of Lords had previously put forward amendments to allow future trade deals to be scrutinised.
The amendment failed in January 353 to 277 but the Government did vow to set up the Trade and Agriculture Commission to advise and scrutinise trade deals.
In a pre-recorded video, Mr Johnson told farmer standards will not be dropped despite concerns following Brexit.
He said the UK Government will remain committed to the high quality of produce going forward.
He said: “We won’t compromise on high animal protection, animal welfare and food standards.”