Farm group says standards 'must be upheld' post-Brexit

Farmers fear they will be forced to compete unfairly and will be undermined commercially in any rushed trade deal
Farmers fear they will be forced to compete unfairly and will be undermined commercially in any rushed trade deal

A farm group has warned government not to undermine UK farmers by agreeing trade deals which allow imports of products produced to lower standards.

There has been considerable media attention about an early trade deal with the US in the wake of the UK's departure from the European Union.

But the farming industry worries that in the rush to achieve a quick result, the UK will allow a breach in standards which will not be good for the farming industry.

Much of the talk within the national media has been around the issue of food safety, however, the issues go more widely than that.



Production standards have been imposed domestically not just for food safety but for environmental and animal welfare reasons.

But the Tenant Farmers' Association (TFA) said it will require 'determination' to ensure that current standards are upheld when conducting any trade deal post-Brexit.



“If the standards we impose upon domestic food production are important to us as a country, we must also ensure that we apply those same standards on the food we import,” said TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn.

“To do otherwise would be duplicitous as it would support the continued use of environmental and animal welfare practices which we are trying to control. We might as well rip up our standards if we take that approach.

“Without a clear commitment from the government to uphold our standards British farmers will be forced to compete unfairly and will be undermined commercially,” he said.

The group's warning comes as the Conservative Party seeks to elect a new leader and Prime Minister.

The candidates are lining up to show their credentials as tough negotiators with the EU along with a strong determination for the UK to make trade deals with the rest of the world.

However, the TFA said the leadership hopefuls must have UK food standards high on their list of priorities.