A leaked briefing prepared for Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers warns that her ministry will come under “significant pressure” from the Department for International Trade (DIT) to weaken the UK’s food and environmental standards to secure a trade deal with the United States. The internal document states that DIT will push the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to “accommodate” American requests to lower the UK’s sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) post-Brexit. “Weakening our SPS regime to accommodate one trade partner could irreparably damage our ability to maintain UK animal, plant and public health, and reduce trust in our exports,” it reads. Prepared by Defra officials, the paper examines the impact of various post-Brexit scenarios on the UK’s food and environmental standards. It states that agreeing to US asks will severely limit Britain’s ability to negotiate an agreement with the EU and could lead to the EU imposing a hard border in Ireland to protect the single market.
Unearthed 7th Oct 2019 read more »