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There’s still nothing appetising about a trade deal with the US | Jay Rayner

How America’s low-welfare standards could wreck the UK’s farming and food industry Two weeks ago, the government announced that chlorine-washed chicken from the US was off the menu in any trade deal. It also said that the newly established trade and agriculture commission was to be put on a statutory footing. It would provide independent advice on post-Brexit trade deals as they pass through parliament. Campaigners celebrated what looked like another government U-turn. The UK’s high food and animal welfare standards would be defended. Hurrah, and so on.Well, up to a point. There was a more reliable way to protect those standards. During its passage through parliament there were three attempts to amend the agriculture bill so as to enshrine them in law. The government voted them all down. It hasn’t even come up with a basic trade policy which establishes what its red lines are. And as it stands, the review process for each trade deal lasts only three weeks, which is completely inadequate for such extraordinarily complex treaties. Finally, each trade deal will now be taken on a case-by-case basis in the Commons, where the government has a robust 80-seat majority. Can we guarantee standards will be upheld by this government? No, we cannot.UK agriculture has been ravaged by a culture of overly cheap food. Farms have simply gone out of business Continue reading…