Top trade adviser says UK 'shouldn't be afraid' of US farm exports

The comments follows concerns that British farming standards may be diluted in any US-UK trade deal
The comments follows concerns that British farming standards may be diluted in any US-UK trade deal

The UK 'shouldn't be afraid' of US farm exports post-Brexit because consumers will have 'more options' in terms of food, a US trade adviser has said.

Former trade adviser to the Trump administration Stephen Vaughn said there was opportunity for a 'high standard' trade deal between the two countries.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Vaughn said there was a 'level of panic' around the UK leaving the EU 'that is not justified'.

However, he said the UK has 'enormous leverage' when negotiating a trade deal with the United States.



“The Americans will always be interested in a deal which allows us to grow our exports of agriculture, I don't think that's something that people should be afraid of,” he told the BBC.

He said consumers will have 'more options' in terms of availability and choice of food products if a UK and US trade deal happens.



But British farmers have consistently warned that standards must not be sacrificed in any deal with the world's largest economy.

It comes as the United States government published its “negotiating objectives” for a future trade deal with the UK earlier this year.

It included “comprehensive access” for agri goods and a demand to pull down “unwarranted barriers”, such as rules which regulate the UK food and farming industry.

The demands, which runs to 18 pages, fuelled concern within the industry which fears a lowering of food and farming standards once the UK leaves the EU.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson said, Britain must leave the EU's ' Museum of Agriculture' and dismiss 'misleading scare-stories' about American agriculture.

NFU President Minette Batters questioned whether the British public would accept chlorinated chicken masking lower welfare standards on farm or hormone-fed beef flooding supermarket shelves in exchange for a US trade deal.

She said British farming puts a level of 'trust and pride' in consumers when they buy food off the shelves.



“Our farm-to-fork approach delivers not only some of the most robust levels of food safety and traceability in the world, but also animal welfare and environmental standards that we believe should serve as a model for food production globally.”