Britain could be forced to accept chlorine-washed
chicken, lactic acid sprayed pork and hormone-grown
Liam Fox reportedly favours relaxation of rules in
order to secure free trade deal with the US.
EU has opposed chemical washing due to safety and
International Trade Secretary attacks BBC as he begins
US trade trip.
LONDON — Britain could be forced to accept chlorine-washed
chickens as part of its post-Brexit trade deal with the US, under
plans being pushed by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.
Chlorinated chicken is currently banned from import under EU
rules, along with the use of growth hormones in beef farming, the
spraying of pig carcasses with lactic acid and the sale of
unlabelled genetically modified food.
Europe has opposed the use of chemical
cleaning due both to safety concerns and the fears that they
could lead to laxer hygiene practices elsewhere in the supply
However, the dropping of these rules is set to be part of future
trade talks between the US and UK. The American Farming
Association has previously insisted that Britain must come into
line with the US.
reportedly in favour of dropping the rules despite
disagreement with other members of Theresa May’s Cabinet,
including the Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
The row comes as Fox visits Washington as part of preliminary
talks over a possible future free trade deal with the US.
Talking to the BBC, Fox said that Britain could increase
trade with the US by £40bn a year by 2030 “if we’re able to
remove the barriers to trade that we have”.
He acknowledged that “Agriculture’s always a very difficult
issue,” but added “It will be a difficult discussion . . . but
we’ve got great support from the United States and the
administration as well as Congress to help push the agenda
Britain is prohibited from entering formal talks about a free
trade deal with the US until it has left the EU. However, Fox
believes that this week’s visit will form part of scoping the
shape of any future talks.
Fox accuses BBC of Brexit bias
Fox used the start of his visit to launch an attack on the BBC
for what he believes is its biased coverage of Brexit.
letter to BBC Director General Tony Hall, Fox accused the
broadcaster of “a clear pattern of unbalanced reporting,” of what
he believes is the positive economic impact of Brexit.
“I understand that the BBC cannot cover every story and I
appreciate too that, despite its best efforts, the corporation
cannot always guarantee total impartiality,” Fox wrote
“However, I believe that we are now seeing a clear pattern of
unbalanced reporting of the UK economy and, when it comes to the
work of my department, evidence of the corporation willfully
ignoring positive economic data when we publish it.”
Fox was accused of trying to intimidate the broadcaster.
“This is a blatant attempt at intimidating the BBC and
undermining the independence of our media,” Liberal Democrat
chief whip, Alistair Carmichael said.
“The BBC shouldn’t be bullied into publishing government
propaganda and has rightly stood its ground.”
“Liam Fox is acting like a tinpot dictator. He can’t blame the
media for his inability to deliver on all the trade deals
promised by the Brexiteers.”
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We do not recognise the
characterisation of our coverage outlined in the letter, but the
BBC is always happy to talk with politicians as we always do on a