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Food Production Standards: Trade Deals

Volume 682: debated on Thursday 15 October 2020

What steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for International Trade to maintain British food production standards in future trade deals. (907590)

Our manifesto was clear that, in all our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. We have retained in law our existing standards of protection, and we have laid before the House our negotiating objectives, stating that we will uphold them.

I thank the Secretary of State for his response, but in that case, why did the Government reject the pleas of their own Back Benchers only two days ago to protect our food standards, in line with the manifesto promises they made in December?

The answer is simple: we have all the powers that we need in law to deliver our manifesto commitment already. As I said earlier, we will use a range of tools, including tariff policy, to prevent our farmers from being undermined by lower standards of animal welfare in other countries, and the sanitary and phytosanitary chapter of trade agreements. We do not need new powers to be able to deliver on our manifesto commitment.