The SNP has condemned the Tory government’s post-Brexit race to the bottom in standards, after reports that the former International Trade Secretary Liz Truss blocked plans to ban imports made to low animal welfare standards.
The rejected proposals would have made it easier for the UK government to ban products that fell short of standards – including beef from cows kept in confined spaces or eggs from hens caged in dire conditions.
According to reports, Truss, who is now Foreign Secretary, blocked plans to maintain high standards as it would have hampered the Tory government’s attempts to secure post-Brexit trade deals.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP (pictured) said:
“If these reports are true then it confirms once again that the Tory government is intent on sacrificing our high standards and selling out our food and farming sectors in fire sale-like fashion in order to secure damaging post-Brexit trade deals.
“The UK-Australia trade deal has already raised serious concerns – with Scotland’s agriculture sector facing the very real threat of being undercut on standards and prices.
“Reports that the former Trade Secretary blocked measures to ban imports of low standard products have only heightened those concerns with future trade deals as the Tory government pursues a race to the bottom in standards.
“It’s increasingly clear that Scotland is vulnerable under Westminster control.
“The only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Tory Brexit is to become an independent country.”