I believe that it is absolutely vital that people across the UK have confidence in the food that they eat. As such, I welcome the Government’s very clear commitment that any future trade agreements must uphold the UK’s high levels of food safety, animal welfare standards, and environmental protection. I have been assured that Ministers have made clear that these standards will not be watered down in pursuit of any trade deal now that the UK has left the EU.
Public consultations will be run ahead of any negotiations for new trade agreements, and any final agreement will be scrutinised and ratified by Parliament. These measures will ensure that both Parliament and the public can have their say on the content of any potential new trade agreements, including in the area of food standards.
I am aware consultations have already taken place in the US, New Zealand and Australia, as well as with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).