There must be no compromise on food standards in any future trade deal with the EU, stated Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil as he questioned the Secretary of State for International Trade in Parliament yesterday (Thursday).
Angus MacNeil MP asked Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss for clarification on an issue which is causing anxiety within the farming and crofting industry, escalated further by misrepresentation of the position of the National Farmers’ Union by the Scottish Tory Leader Douglas Ross.
Mr MacNeil said: “We are either facing a hard deal Brexit or a no deal Brexit and as result food and farming are taking on really greater importance.
“It’s an issue which has caused near meltdown for the new and already failing Tory leader in Scotland with the National Farmers’ Union giving them the yellow card for misleading and leaving farmers fuming.
“So I wonder will the Secretary of State take this opportunity to ease farmer’s anger and consumer’s anxiety and state categorically that there will be no trading of food standards or compromise of the high food’s standards that now go on supermarket shelves for any trade deal whatsoever.”
Rt Hon Truss replied: “I can absolutely give the Hon Gen that assurance and I would point out that NFU Scotland sit as part of our Trade and Agriculture Commission looking at future trade policy.”
Speaking afterwards Mr MacNeil said: “Brexit is of course a big threat to crofting, to markets and for crofters’ livestock.
“Another threat of course is the arrival on our shelves of food that doesn’t meet current standards and undercuts the high quality meats and other products and replaces our agricultural products with products that have been raised with growth hormones or greater use of antibiotics or a number of other practices in milk and elsewhere that we are not currently tolerating.
“As we strive for high quality in our food, the UK Government might be tempted to give this away such is the weakened position of their hand post Brexit in trade negotiations.”