JUST as the fishing industry has been sacrificed on the altar of Brexit, we now have the farming industry sacrificed on the altar of ‘Global Britain’ and what is, in effect, a publicity stunt for the G7 meeting next month (The Yorkshire Post, May 22).
The proposed trade deal with Australia will give tariff-free access for their farming produce to the British market, phased in over a 15-year period. The negotiation is undergoing what is described as a ‘sprint’ in order that the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, can sign the deal at the G7 in Cornwall next month.
Last year the Government rejected amendments to the Trade and to the Agriculture Bills aimed at safeguarding both food standards and our own farming industry. One of these was proposed and supported by 33 Tory MPs, who obviously did not trust their own Government. As a concession, it was agreed that the Agriculture Bill would include a new Trade and Agriculture Commission, to be set up in order to scrutinise trade deals and report back to Parliament three weeks before any deal is signed.
The G7 meeting is between June 11-13, and the Trade and Agriculture Commission has yet to be set up. A recent opinion poll showed that the vast majority of the British public want to support our farmers by preventing food produced to standards not allowed in the UK from entering the country. Australian beef is injected with antibiotics and hormones at present banned in this country. One of these hormones is believed to be carcinogenic.
We are therefore to have a deal rushed through, without the promised scrutiny, which will irreparably damage our farming industry and will allow access for food which is detrimental to our health. So, this is what ‘Global Britain’ is all about?
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