Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party has challenged Boris Johnson, the prime minister, to enshrine his promises on food standards, animal welfare and environmental protections in the Agriculture Bill – the first substantial piece of post-Brexit legislation.
Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, has warned that the Agriculture Bill could result in chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-treated beef and food produced to lower animal welfare and environmental standards being sold in the UK after Brexit, lowering standards and undercutting British farmers and producers.
The Labour party is now withholding its support for the legislation unless it includes legal guarantees that animal welfare, food standards and environmental protections will not be undercut in a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump and the USA.
Pollard challenged Johnson to write his election promises on maintaining standards into law as guarantees.
He said: “We won’t accept chlorinated chicken in our supermarkets or Boris Johnson selling out our animal welfare, food and environmental protections in a bid for a trade deal with Donald Trump.
“Promises that Ministers have made to maintain standards aren’t worth anything until they are written into law, and unless they do so we must surely conclude that they intend to break these promises during trade talks with the USA.
“Labour will defend our environment, animal welfare and food standards, protect British consumers and stand up for Britain’s farmers so they are not undercut by food produced to lower standards in the USA”.
Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from the Labour Party.