Monday 23 September 2019

'What have you got against chlorinated chickens' - Tory MP asks RTÉ's Tommie Gorman

Jane Last

Jane Last

Brexit, the border and chlorinated chicken.

Taken individually, the three topics exercise huge amounts of discussion.

If brought together, it makes for an enthusiastic debate.

While the Irish may be well-schooled in all things Brexit and the border, chlorinated chicken isn’t on our radar.

While it is legal to wash chicken in chlorine in the US, the practice is a breach of EU rules.

The prospect of chlorinated chicken imported from the US on to UK supermarket shelves post-Brexit is not an exciting prospect for consumers.

Last night, RTE’s Northern Editor Tommie Gorman decided to discuss the issue of chlorinated chicken with members of the House of Commons Committee on Exiting the EU who were visiting the border in South Armagh.

And the conversation went exactly as you would expect.

“We got into a discussion about the future of that border and what might happen if a free trading post Brexit UK began importing chlorinated chicken from the United States,” Tommie reported.

“Mutual recognition. Mutual recognition is the key to this rather than control,” an enthusiastic Conservative MP Christopher Chope said to the RTE reporter.

“What do you mean mutual recognition? We recognise the chlorinated chickens?” Tommie asked.

“I don’t know what you’ve got against chlorinated chickens but anyway.... Are you saying Irish people don’t go to the United States and eat United States chicken? I bet they do.”

“I bet they do - and they enjoy it,” party colleague Craig Mackinlay chimed in.

“There’s a lot of scaremongering about and it’s basically, it’s covert protectionism by the EU,” Mr Chope added.

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