Sunday, 01 December 2019 20:27

BACKROOM JOHNSON-TRUMP TRADE DEAL A THREAT TO FOOD STANDARDS

SECRET TRADE TALKS REVEAL US-UK PLANS TO UNDERMINE WORLD CLASS SCOTTISH PRODUCE

Ahead of Donald Trump’s arrival in the UK today (Monday), the SNP has warned that Scotland’s food standards are at risk from a backroom Johnson-Trump trade deal following the leak of a cache of damning secret documents.

The internal memos from the Department for International Trade’s UK-US trade and investment working group revealed that Geographical indications (GIs) - a mark of quality that protects produce from bogus imitations and to promote regional products – have also been put on the table as part of potential negotiations.

GIs are a long-standing subject of disagreement between the US and the EU – however with the UK government planning to push ahead with its extreme Brexit plans, US officials have now presented the UK a list of six “potential objectives” on altering and loosening standards for GIs. 

The move would undermine the sector and be a disaster for Scotland’s world class produce – including Whisky, Arbroath Smokies, Scottish farmed salmon and Stornoway Black Pudding.

The documents also reiterate previous threats on food standards, with US officials willing to “share their public lines on chlorine-washed chicken [with UK officials] to help inform the media narrative…”, while pressuring the UK to assert “regulatory autonomy” from the EU post-Brexit in order not to be bound by its high standards.

Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s International Trade spokesperson and candidate for Dundee East, said:

“At this election, only a vote for the SNP is a vote to lock Boris Johnson out of Downing Street, escape Brexit, protect our NHS and valuable food and drinks sector, and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

“Despite all the rhetoric, the reality behind closed doors is that the Tories are teeing up a sell-out of Scotland’s world-class food and drink produce in exchange for a dodgy Johnson-Trump trade deal cooked up in the backroom.
 
“With Trump set to arrive in the UK, behind the scenes US officials are willing to help wage a spin campaign to sell a race to the bottom in food safety and lobby the UK to step back on protecting Geographical Indications – measures in place to prevent bogus imitations. 

"That would put at risk some of our famous produce such as Whisky, Arbroath Smokies, Scottish farmed salmon and Stornoway Black Pudding. Scottish produce must not be on the menu for any Johnson-Trump trade deal.

“The SNP will work to maintain current and future EU standards and regulations in key areas to prevent a sell-out of our sectors. While also setting out that the Scottish Government should be closely involved in all stages of developing UK trade policy, to ensure that the interests of Scotland are strengthened.”

ENDS

Notes for editors:

Scottish Produce: https://www.gov.scot/news/scottish-protected-food-names-under-threat/

GIs - https://www.worldipreview.com/news/us-uk-trade-leak-us-seeks-changes-to-patents-and-gis-18963

NHS drug prices, chlorine-washed chicken and secretive courts: What do US-UK trade documents tell us about life after Brexit? https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-us-uk-trade-deal-boris-johnson-tories-nhs-drug-prices-chlorine-chicken-a9221801.html

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