Food standards and future trade deals

I enclose a copy of a letter I have today received from the Government. They rightly confirm that they have no intention of compromising on our high food standards or animal welfare.

Dear John

Food standards and future trade deals

I know that many of you will have been contacted by constituents concerned about recent media reports that UK food standards will be lowered as part of future trade deals.

This UK Government will not compromise on our standards. Our manifesto is clear that in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. We remain firmly committed to upholding our high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards outside the EU and the EU Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing EU food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, onto the UK statute book.

These import standards include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in domestic and imported products and set out that no products, other than potable water, are approved to decontaminate poultry carcases. Any changes to existing food safety legislation would require new legislation to be brought before this Parliament.

The UK’s food standards, for both domestic production and imports, are overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. These are independent agencies and provide advice to the UK and Scottish governments. They will continue to do so in order to ensure that all food imports comply with the UK’s high safety standards. Decisions on these standards are a matter for the UK and will be made separately from any trade agreement.

All parts of the UK should be proud of our world-leading food, health and animal welfare standards and we will not lower our standards as we negotiate new trade deals.

Best wishes,

Secretary of State for International Trade & President of the Board of Trade

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


  1. Alec
    June 9, 2020

    Since worldwide government lockdowns have decimated food supply lines that were struggling already due to the worsening cold and rain in the last few years I would think people will be glad to get any food at all. Already many items have soared in price and there are food riots in several countries. Obviously the protest riots that are currently being encouraged by politicians are proving to be a good distraction but I wonder how long that will continue.

  2. Ralph
    June 9, 2020

    Mr Redwood,

    Please could you seek clarification from the same source that in the final paragraph…

    “All parts of the UK should be proud of our world-leading food, health and animal welfare standards and we will not lower our standards as we negotiate new trade deals.”

    …the reference to “standards” means both standards of production and standards of import?

    I fear some slight of hand may be taking place.

  3. czerwonadupa
    June 10, 2020

    Sir John
    I’m surprised by so few comments about food standards by your regular posters, many of whom are virulently opposed to this country becoming independent. Maybe they were too busy demonstrating or trying to topple over a memorial.
    I would very much like to hear your comment, after reading another blog, on the one sidedness of the Geographical Indications ‘negotiated’ by your previous leader & Olly Robbins. I read they accepted a book full of European GIs in perpetuity but only a handful of UK GIs, leaving many world known Scottish & English brands open to European counterfeiting.

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