Skip to main content

Food and Agricultural Standards

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 15 November 2018

9. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on ensuring that food and agricultural imports meet the same standards as domestic products after the UK has left the EU. (907619)

My ministerial colleagues and I regularly meet our counterparts from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to discuss a range of issues. When it comes to products imported to the UK, quality, safety and performance will continue to be paramount. Without exception, imports must meet all the relevant UK product rules and regulations.

We have heard quite a few times this morning that there will be no lowering of standards when it comes to imports under future trade deals, but the Government rejected an amendment to the Trade Bill to include a non-regression clause. Will they now support an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, which we will be discussing in Committee later today, that would allow for the same so that we can be sure that our food and our safety standards are protected?

I have noted some of the discussions on the Agriculture Bill, which I read earlier today, and I have noted the discussions on this. I have to say, and the hon. Lady should take some real encouragement from this fact, that the standards on these issues in the UK are already higher than they are in the EU. That, I think, should give the House confidence as to the UK’s intention on this. I will repeat one more time: there is absolutely no intention that the Government will reduce their standards in this area.