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House of Commons Hansard
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Trade Deals: Standards
25 January 2018
Volume 635
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7. What steps he is taking to safeguard UK food safety and animal welfare standards in future trade deals. [903542]

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The Government are proud of the high food safety and animal welfare standards that underpin our high-quality Great British produce. We have no intention of undercutting our own reputation for quality by lowering our food and animal welfare standards in pursuit of a trade deal.

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On that basis, then, does the Minister know whether his boss, a former Education Secretary, would be content to serve our schoolchildren American chlorinated chicken?

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The point I would make to the hon. Gentleman is that, when we leave the European Union, the withdrawal Bill will bring across all existing EU regulations, including those on chlorinated chicken. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has said many times, animal welfare is the issue here, and the issue of chlorinated chicken can sometimes mask animal welfare concerns.

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British farmers will be completely undermined if we have a flood of imports from countries with lower animal welfare standards. Will the Minister now tell the House that that is to be one of the Government’s red lines in negotiating free trade agreements?

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If the hon. Lady had listened to my earlier answer, she would have heard me say that we have no intention of undercutting our own reputation for quality by lowering our food and animal welfare standards in pursuit of a trade deal.