Food Standard Protection Demanded in Tory Trade Bill Threat

The SNP has tabled a series of amendments to the UK Trade Bill which would protect Scotland’s producers and remove the threat of a free-fall in food standards in post-Brexit trade deals.

The UK Trade Bill makes provision for post-Brexit trade deals and the Tory government has, so far, failed to set out the role for Holyrood or other devolved Parliaments.

Amendments laid by the SNP would give those devolved administrations the right to reject trade deals and would protect standards on imported goods.

Deidre Brock MP (pictured), the SNP shadow DEFRA Secretary, has demanded action from the UK government since the Brexit referendum to ensure that Scotland’s high-quality food producers would not be undercut by cheaper, sub-standard imports. 

She said:

“A Tory trade deal under the proposed framework risks opening our world-class produce sector to ractopamine pork, chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef with our devolved Parliaments unable to stop it.

“That would be completely unacceptable.

“In the 2019 election, the Tories committed to high consumer, worker, and environmental standards but Downing Street has thrown that out the window and now refuses to confirm whether sub-standard food will be kept out of our shops and off of our plates.

“SNP amendments to the UK Trade Bill would ensure that our food remains high quality; no agricultural or food products of lower standards could be imported if we’re successful. 

“Scotland’s six Tory MPs shamefully hung Scotland’s producers out to dry during the recent UK Agriculture Bill but they have a chance to redeem themselves by supporting these amendments to the Trade Bill. 

“The eyes of Scotland’s food producers and consumers will be on the Supine Six and a second betrayal will not be forgiven.

“Farmers and agricultural businesses across Scotland have already been dealt a hammer blow from the coronavirus crisis.

“A ‘race to the bottom’ trade deal with the US at the same time would be nothing short of reckless, and would damage the world-class brand of high-quality Scottish produce.

“The SNP will continue the fight to stop that.”