Brexit betrayal: Liz Truss under fire in latest move to secure US trade deal

Brexit betrayal: Liz Truss under fire in latest move to secure US trade deal

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has raised concerns that Ms Truss will concede in key issues to reach an agreement with the Trump administration by the end of the year. According to the 2019 Conservative manifesto such guidelines would not be jeopardised.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is accused of impeding an investigation on future trade deals and whether they look after the needs of British agriculture.

Critics say Ms Truss wants to turn the UK into a “pariah state” by letting cheap produce into the country.

The foods are filled with antibiotics and hormones and they could deal a blow to British farmers.

However, insiders say ministers including Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary George Eustice claim the manifesto is complied with.

Last night the Government refuted claims that Ms Truss’ branch was willing to betray British farmers.

Minette Batters, the president of the NFU, said there may be only 60 days to help family farmers.

She added: “I have nothing against a UK-US trade deal as long as the imports into this country are produced to the same legal standards that we require from our farmers.

“While Defra ministers refuse to have that compromised, we do not have the same assurances from DIT.

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The standards also outline animal welfare rules and ban the use of chemicals near waterways.

In the US, practices like giving cattle growth hormone and antibiotics are allowed, as is chlorine-washing chicken prior to its sale.

Environmentalists have raised concerns that US-style factory farming could also decrease Britain’s chances to meet its net zero carbon target and overturn the decline in species.

It could also deteriorate the quality of the soil, making the land more prone to flooding.

Conservative MP Simon Hoare said: “Nobody is being a protectionist here, it is just a disagreement about shades of free trade.

“If you reduce the tariff on American sugar cane, then you open up our sugar beet farmers to unfair competition.

“These issues have to be considered.”

But Andrew Bowie, also a Tory MP, said: “Liz has been very clear from the get go, we are not about to sell British farmers down the river.

“We are proud of our standards – we are not about to undercut farmers by doing a deal that will harm them.”

A Government spokesman said: “We have been clear that in all of our trade negotiations – including with the US in our first round of negotiations – that we will not undermine our high domestic environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards by ensuring in any agreement British farmers are always able to compete.”

Published at Mon, 25 May 2020 03:41:00 +0000