‘Don’t bargain food safety for quick US trade deal’

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has warned the British Government not to risk food safety in their eagerness to secure a quick trade deal with the United States.

Recent reports have suggested that Government ministers are considering allowing products like chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef into the UK market during negotiations with their US counterparts, if a tariff is applied.

Patsy McGlone MLA said:“Reports that the British Government are prepared to accept lower welfare and sanitary standards in food production as the cost of a quick US Trade Deal are of great concern.

“There are no short-cuts in safe food production and British Government Ministers have previously given assurances to the public that these issues would not be up for negotiation.

“Despite this, there now appears to be a willingness to bargain away the current high food safety achieved through Europe-wide welfare and sanitary standards for a quick deal on US trade.

“No tariff is worth that risk and the British Government should reject any efforts by the US administration to force a U-turn on the fundamental issue of food safety.

“The SDLP will continue to argue for an extension to the Brexit transition period that would allow time for the right trade deals to be negotiated.”