A UK government spokesperson said: “We have always said we will only negotiate trade deals that deliver for the British people. And we reserve the right to pause negotiations with any country if progress is not being made.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has said the UK Government was right to stand its ground following an announcement last week that it was suspending free-trade talks with Canada.

While the NFU is pressing for a resolution, NFU President Minette Batters said the government was clear on its position regarding food safety, especially after much-criticised deals with Australia and New Zealand.

“The government’s decision to walk away from trade talks aimed at enhancing the trading relationship between the UK and Canada would have been difficult, but it’s the right decision,” Minette said.

“On products such as beef and cheese, Canada was demanding too much and offering too little, therefore preventing progress to the benefit of both countries.”

Lowering UK standards ‘not an option’

Minette went on to say: “During those negotiations, we understand that Canada made repeated attempts to force the UK to change its food safety rules and to extract unreasonable concessions for maintaining our preferential access to its cheese market.

 

“While there is give and take within every trade deal, the UK Government has been clear that lowering the UK’s high standards of food safety is not an option, in these and all negotiations. This position is wholeheartedly supported by the NFU and also the million members of the public who signed our petition to safeguard British food standards in 2020.

 

“We have always urged the UK Government to secure balanced trade agreements that benefit both British consumers and British producers, and to avoid bad deals that give away too much for the sake of getting a deal over the line. I’m pleased the government seems to be following that approach in its announcement today.”

Read more from the article: www.nfuonline.com >

 

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