The UK government must urgently ditch their plan to water down food standards to secure a trade deal with Donald Trump, the SNP has said – or risk doing untold damage to food producers and opening a new constitutional crisis.
Reports this week have indicated that the Tories are set to renege on previous commitments to maintain European food standards – opening the door to low quality imports including chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef.
In January the then Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers had insisted that such imports would not be allowed.
The threat posed to Scottish farmers by this trade deal comes despite agriculture being wholly devolved.
All parties, other than the Tories, have opposed this power grab on Holyrood – insisting that the Scottish Parliament have a formal role in approving trade deals affecting devolved issues.
Emma Harper MSP commented:
“Tory plans to flood the UK with hormone-injected beef, chlorinated chicken and other lower standard imports pose a huge threat to the Scottish food and drink industry.
“Yet again, Scotland’s interests are being damaged by the Tories’ Brexit obsession.
“If reports of this U-turn are accurate, it would completely betray the promises that were made and prove Boris Johnson is willing to sacrifice the interests of Scotland’s farmers and producers to satisfy Donald Trump.
“Farmers and consumers deserve better than to have supermarket shelves flooded with low quality imports like chlorinated chicken – and every Scottish Tory MP voted to allow this.
“But this decision shouldn’t be for the Tories at Westminster to take at all.
“Agriculture is entirely devolved to the Scottish Parliament – and imposing these lower standards on Scotland is an undemocratic power grab.
“Such an approach is exactly why Scotland voted so overwhelmingly against Brexit.
“It’s time for the Tories to think twice about this bargain basement deal with Donald Trump.”