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Liz Truss accused of being willing to sacrifice British agriculture for US deal

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has been accused of being willing to sacrifice British agriculture to reach a trade deal with the US.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned she will give way on vital areas of environmental and animal rights standards to sign a deal with Donald Trump’s government by the end of the year.

This is despite the fact that the 2019 Conservative manifesto stated such standards would not be sacrificed.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is pictured above. Insiders say there is a row in Government between ¿purist ideologues¿ who want to open up trade in the most liberal way, and those who want to maintain Britain¿s high environmental standards

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is pictured above. Insiders say there is a row in Government between ¿purist ideologues¿ who want to open up trade in the most liberal way, and those who want to maintain Britain¿s high environmental standards

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is pictured above. Insiders say there is a row in Government between ‘purist ideologues’ who want to open up trade in the most liberal way, and those who want to maintain Britain’s high environmental standards

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is accused of blocking plans for a commission to investigate future trade deals and whether they protect the needs of British agriculture.

Critics say Miss Truss wants to turn the UK into a ‘pariah state’ by allowing the import of cheap foods pumped with antibiotics and hormones which could drive British farmers out of business.

But insiders say ministers including Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary George Eustice are insisting the manifesto is adhered to.

The two sides are seen starting the trade talks earlier this month. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned she will give way on vital areas of environmental and animal rights standards to sign a deal with Donald Trump¿s government by the end of the year

The two sides are seen starting the trade talks earlier this month. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned she will give way on vital areas of environmental and animal rights standards to sign a deal with Donald Trump¿s government by the end of the year

The two sides are seen starting the trade talks earlier this month. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned she will give way on vital areas of environmental and animal rights standards to sign a deal with Donald Trump’s government by the end of the year

Last night the Government denied that Miss Truss’s department was willing to sell British farmers down the river.

Minette Batters, the president of the NFU, said there may be only 60 days to save 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. I hope Liz Truss will start listening to her fellow Cabinet members …

‘Brexit was meant to be about the creation of a bigger, better Britain, not turning us into a pariah state.’

In the US, farmers can give cattle growth hormone and antibiotics ¿ a practice that has a big impact on antimicrobial resistance. Chlorine-washed chicken is also sold. Farmers say lowering standards would open the market to US agricultural giants which could put UK family-run farms out of business [File photo]

In the US, farmers can give cattle growth hormone and antibiotics ¿ a practice that has a big impact on antimicrobial resistance. Chlorine-washed chicken is also sold. Farmers say lowering standards would open the market to US agricultural giants which could put UK family-run farms out of business [File photo]

In the US, farmers can give cattle growth hormone and antibiotics – a practice that has a big impact on antimicrobial resistance. Chlorine-washed chicken is also sold. Farmers say lowering standards would open the market to US agricultural giants which could put UK family-run farms out of business [File photo]

Insiders say there is a row in Government between ‘purist ideologues’ who want to open up trade in the most liberal way, and those who want to maintain Britain’s high environmental standards.

Agricultural industry leaders have accused those on the Right of the party of trying to use an upcoming trade Bill to weaken Britain’s standards in advance of a deal with the US – even if that means putting farmers out of business.

Britain has very high standards of animal welfare, such as the quality of food fed to livestock, restrictions on chemicals that can be used and a ban on spraying them near waterways.

In the US, farmers can give cattle growth hormone and antibiotics – a practice that has a big impact on antimicrobial resistance. Chlorine-washed chicken is also sold.

Farmers say lowering standards would open the market to US agricultural giants which could put UK family-run farms out of business.

Environmentalists fear that US-style factory farming could also impact Britain’s ability to meet its net zero carbon target and reverse the decline in species. It could also decrease the quality of the soil, making flooding more likely.

The Troutbeck Valley in the Lake District is pictured above. Agricultural industry leaders have accused those on the Right of the party of trying to use an upcoming trade Bill to weaken Britain¿s standards in advance of a deal with the US ¿ even if that means putting farmers out of business

The Troutbeck Valley in the Lake District is pictured above. Agricultural industry leaders have accused those on the Right of the party of trying to use an upcoming trade Bill to weaken Britain¿s standards in advance of a deal with the US ¿ even if that means putting farmers out of business

The Troutbeck Valley in the Lake District is pictured above. Agricultural industry leaders have accused those on the Right of the party of trying to use an upcoming trade Bill to weaken Britain’s standards in advance of a deal with the US – even if that means putting farmers out of business

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.’

Source: Daily Mail – Articles

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