“A UK Labour government would aim to strike a trade deal with the United States.
In an interview with POLITICO, new Shadow International Trade Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the promise of a free-trade agreement with Washington, a key pledge of Brexiteers, must be delivered.
“The US trade deal is something that has been promised to the British people, and the government should deliver it,” the opposition frontbencher said.”
- A post-Brexit trade deal with the US could mean UK consumers being forced to accept rodent hairs, maggots and animal faeces in their food under US regulations likely to be imposed as part of any post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump.
- US regulations set out how many rat hairs or maggots are allowed to be included in common food products.
- No such limits are allowed under UK and EU law.
- Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Trade Minister told Business Insider that UK consumers were set for some “unpleasant surprises.”
- Polls show that British people would prioritise protecting UK food safety standards over a free trade deal with the US.
- UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox described this as “baseless” and “untrue.”
“Insect-filled chocolates, rat hair-infested noodles, and orange juice containing maggots are just some of the “horrors” UK consumers could be forced to accept if post-Brexit Britain signs a wide-ranging trade deal with the USA.
In the US, producers adhere to a “Defect Levels Handbook” which sets out the maximum number of foreign bodies like maggots, insect fragments and mould that can be in food products before they are put on the market.
For example, US producers are allowed to include up to 30 insect fragments in a 100-gram jar of peanut butter; as well as 11 rodent hairs in a 25-gram container of paprika; or 3 milligrams of mammalian excreta (typically rat or mouse excrement) per each pound of ginger.
In the EU there are no allowable limits for foreign bodies in food products. MPs have told Business Insider they are worried that a UK-US trade deal designed by Brexiteers could open the floodgates to contaminated food.”
“Sam Lowe, a trade specialist at the Centre For European Reform, predicted that the US would want the UK to move away from EU food standards and much closer to its own in any future free trade deal negotiation.”
“The US actively dislikes many existing EU measures and will certainly pressurise the UK to jettison many of them in any FTA (Free Trade Agreement) negotiations with the UK,” Lowe told BI this week.
He was echoed by a former US Treasury official, who told BI: “Agriculture punches well above its commercial weight in trade negotiations. The prospect of agricultural exports to the UK would be a major US objective in FTA talks.”
US officials have been clear that the UK would need to change many of its rules and standards in order to sign an expansive free trade agreement with Washington, particularly in areas of sanitary and phytosanitary.
President Trump has previously criticised EU “barriers” to US farmers and manufacturers and Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, said last October that scrapping strict EU standards in areas like food hygiene and agriculture would be a “critical component” to any post-Brexit UK-UK free trade deal.”
US agriculture is the largest single sector in the US economy, measured by the number of people working within it.
In Washington DC, on the Hill and in the White House they call those folk down on the farm, voters, whichever party controls Congress and/or holds the Presidency.
You would think Rachel Reeves, who once worked at the British Embassy in Washington, would know that, would you not?
The US President negotiates Trade Deals which must then be approved by Congress. The House Ways and Means Committee is the arbitrator, it is Irish/American dominated by descendants of the Irish Catholic diaspora.
There will, incidentally, be no US Trade Deal until the Northern Ireland Protocol is sorted.
That consummate diplomat, Sir Keir Starmer QC in July 2021 pledged that Labour would be “on the side of unionists” arguing for Northern Ireland to remain in the UK.”
“Earlier this year (2019), the US administration’s trade representative (USTR) produced a 500-page wishlist of what it would like to see included in a new free trade agreement with Britain after it has left the EU.
The report said the US was “concerned” about EU measures for “food safety and protecting human, animal, or plant life or health,” and called for the UK to ditch these strict European rules after Brexit to liberate UK-US trade.”
If Labour is serious about getting a deal to maybe sell a bit more British steel into the US market then they will have no option, but to compromise on UK food, health and hygiene standards with all the risks that entail for the UK consumer, UK agriculture and food production and their export trade.
“Enter the star spangled chlorinated chicken. If you export ready meals with chicken in them to Europe and, at some point in future, US fowl is suspected of having entered your supply chain then you may well kiss goodbye to any future business with EU27 countries.”
“For the uninitiated, the EU Single Market is the largest single market in the world, measured by per capita disposable income. I gather even Australia is eager to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with the EU27.
By the way, they chlorinate chicken in Australia.”
UK food production is the largest single sector within UK manufacturing and has taken a battering since Hard Brexit kicked in, locking as it does businesses out of the Single Market and Customs Union.
The Hard Brexit Labour now says it will keep in place, indefinitely.
I am ever more convinced that outside of the narrow confines of his legal specialism, Sir Keir Starmer QC is just not that bright.
Starmer this week has been wandering the country saying manufacturing in England is a basket case, especially in the North West …
Trip to Barnard Castle required?
Has Labour, the self styled party of business, which wants a partnership with business, asked business whether a US/UK FTA would be of any use to them?
Maybe Labour is lying when Thomas-Symonds says his party in Government would be serious about negotiating a US/UK FTA?
Is this another element of Labour’s grand strategy of deceit to woo over voters living in the past, reminiscing about their glory days of mekkin’ things up on the Red Wall?
Labour’s Global Britain, in fact?
Are Labour stupid or dishonest?
On balance, I prefer to think the latter, because that means they understand the price of a UK/USA FTA to the 100s of 1,000s employed in UK agriculture and food production.
There are only at most 30,000 direct jobs in British steel.
Ominously, Labour has yet to unveil its plans to tackle rising inflation as the cost of living shoots up.
As food prices, in particular, rise on the high street.
The price of a UK/USA FTA would include imported US agricultural produce and food products, cheap in both quality and price on the shelves of UK shops.
Still, they do look cute, do they not?