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Independent.ie

Friday 15 December 2017

'UK food standards won't be loosened in any free trade deal'

Micheal Gove says UK can have a 'green' Brexit and be leader in environmental standards

The UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove.
The UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

A trade deal between the UK and the US does not mean that UK food standards would be loosened, according to Michael Gove.

The UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC this weekend that Britain has a reputation for producing top quality food and the UK can be a world leader in environmental measures.

When asked about the UK accepting hormone beef or chlorine washed chicken, he said that a trade deal with the US would not mean any loosening of food and environmental standards.

"With no tariff barriers, British food, which has a world reputation for quality, will be able to be bought by more people. That means that as we grow and produce more, that we can ensure that our countryside and rural economy is more productive.

"We can also...ensure that not do we maintain high environmental standards, we enhance them."

The UK, he said, take steps to ensure that live exports are to a higher welfare standard.

"We can have a green Brexit that ensures that Britain is an environmental leader."

He also said that UK farmers who currently receive large amounts of EU subsidies will get less money under the new regime.

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Gove also told Andrew Marr that the UK would be taking back control of the waters for fishing with the 12-mile radius of the UK. He said the UK would decide the terms of access and would extend control of its waters for up to 200 miles.

He said taking back control would mean sustainable fish stocks for the future.


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