European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Leaving the EU – in the House of Commons at 7:12 pm on 14th January 2019.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade 7:12 pm, 14th January 2019

I will give way to the right hon. Gentleman in a minute—and quicker than his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development did.

Ten days ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Oxford farming conference. It was clear that the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who had spoken to them the day before, had got farmers seriously concerned. They were pleased that he confirmed that our food production standards in the UK would not be reduced, but incensed by his refusal to deny that food from the USA and elsewhere, which had been produced to lower standards, would be allowed access into the UK to undercut them in our domestic market. That, according to the Government, of course, is not a lowering of our standards in the UK but simply consumer choice and the pursuit of free trade. I now give way to the former Foreign Secretary.