Rishi Sunak lashes out at Liz Truss’ trade pact with Australia as he vows to protect British farmers’ interests in future deals
- Prime Minister says there will be no ‘chlorinated chicken’ or ‘hormone-treated beef’ in UK
Rishi Sunak has slammed his predecessor Liz Truss when the Prime Minister promised British farmers they would no longer be an ‘afterthought’ in trade deals.
In an open letter to the British farming community, Sunak pledged to protect their interests when signing new post-Brexit trade deals.
It follows anger over the UK trade deal with Australia, negotiated by Ms Truss when she was International Trade Secretary, among farmers.
Former Environment Secretary George Eustice labeled the deal a “failure” after he left office last year, claiming it was “not really a very good deal.”
He claimed the UK gave ‘way too much away for far too little in return’ during the negotiations, before the deal was formally signed in December 2021.
Sunak insisted he would never allow “chlorine-washed chicken” or “hormone-treated beef” — which could be demands in a future deal with the US — to flood British markets under his approach to trade deals.
In an open letter to the British farming community, Rishi Sunak pledged to protect their interests when signing new post-Brexit trade deals.
It follows anger over the UK trade deal with Australia, negotiated by Liz Truss when she was International Trade Secretary, among farmers.
Mr Sunak wrote an open letter to ‘farmers in the UK’ outlining his ‘six principles’ for future trade deals
The National Farmers’ Union has said there is a “real risk” to British farmers from both the deal with Australia and the trade pact signed with New Zealand last February.
In the aftermath of the row, Mr Sunak today wrote an open letter addressed to ‘farmers in the UK’ and hosted a ‘farm to fork’ summit, aimed at strengthening food security, today in Downing Street.
Under his leadership, the Prime Minister pledged that “trade agreements will always take into account the full impact and opportunities of those trade agreements for our domestic agricultural sector.”
He said the government was ‘ready to do what is right to protect particularly sensitive sectors’ and pledged to ‘continue to protect food standards in the UK under all existing and future free trade agreements’.
“There will be no chlorine-washed chicken and no hormone-treated beef on the UK market. Not now, not ever,” added Sunak, outlining his “six principles” for future trade deals.
The Prime Minister also pledged to uphold British production standards and make efforts to improve international cooperation on animal welfare.
“Production methods such as sow pens and battery cages are not allowed in the UK,” he continued.
“We will safeguard our ability to maintain high environmental, animal welfare and food standards in new trade agreements.”
Sunak also reiterated his goal of ensuring Britain continues to produce 60 percent of the food the country consumes.
The Prime Minister used today’s No. 10 ‘Farm to Fork’ summit to outline a support package for British farmers, including £30 million to unlock new technologies.
NFU Chair Minette Batters praised Mr Sunak for keeping his commitment to hold a food summit in Downing Street.
“These actions recognize the importance of coordinated action within government to support confidence, investment and growth in British food.
“We look forward to working with the Prime Minister, the Environment Secretary and the rest of the Cabinet to support British agriculture and strengthen our domestic food security.”