As a new Trade Secretary is appointed, farmer Andrew Brown highlights the risks of the government's trade agenda.
Some win, some lose. Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle yesterday has seen government ministers running in and out of 10 Downing Street hoping to keep their jobs or bag a promotion.
I don’t care much for all the personality politics and media chatter. But as a farmer I care about my farm, the environment, and the livelihoods of farmers across the country.
Boris Johnson has appointed a new Trade Secretary – Anne-Marie Trevelyan. She is about to take charge of negotiating trade deals that could have massive impacts on farmers like me.
The government said earlier this summer that it had agreed a trade deal with Australia, and the government is expected to publish details this autumn. It could even be signed without proper scrutiny by Parliament.
The Australia Trade Deal risks doing enormous damage to farmers like me. If reports are true and this deal opens up our market unprotected to Australian produce it will mean:
- Disaster for animal welfare: Australian cattle are fed hormones causing them to over muscle and suffer, and Australia allows ‘mulesing’ - the removal of a part of a sheep’s skin while it is still alive.
- Risks to human health: Australia allows antibiotics to be used in farming to dangerous levels, leading to anti-biotic resistance and risking human health.
- Dangerous pesticides: Australia has far weaker pesticide standards than the UK. For example, an Australian apple can have as much as 30 times the amount of toxic insecticide buprofezin than a UK apple.
UK farmers who work to high standards would be unable to compete. The UK’s present high standards are there for our protection – and that of animal welfare and our planet – we must not let them slip. Neither must we export our environmental issues elsewhere in the world.
Earlier this year the European Movement stood up to Liz Truss’ Great British Sell Off of our cherished high food and farming standards. Now, together we stand ready to continue our campaign and make it too loud and prominent to ignore.
Tell the new Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan that you will not stand for an Australia Deal that lowers standards, increases risks to animal and human welfare, and hangs UK farmers out to dry.
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