‘Chucked under the bus!’ UK farmers issue final Brexit warning to Truss as new deal looms

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With the deal close to being announced, the sector has warned there are no safeguards to protect the industry going forward. While the UK Government has insisted UK farmers will not be undercut by a wave of cheap Australian meat imports, one farmer claimed the situation will be dire for the industry. Like the US, Australian farmers use certain practices which are banned in the UK such as hormone growth treatments, pesticides and feed additives.

David Barton, a farmer from the Cotswolds told the BBC: “We aren’t afraid of a Free Trade Deal, but we’ve been given absolutely no assurances about what standards will be upheld.

“Unless the government gives us the support we need, the situation is going to be dire.

“It’s not going to be me, it’s going to be everybody.

“I’m worried UK agriculture is going to be chucked under the bus.”

The Government has maintained the sector will be protected under any deal with Australia.

It has also set up the Trade and Agricultural Commission which will assess and inform overall trade policy relating to the sector.

The Commission has revealed it will examine the text in full once the agreement is concluded by both parties.

The House of Lords also has an International Agreements Committee to assess all trade agreements negotiated and signed by the UK.

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Trade Secretary Liz Truss has put forward a 15-year transition period for UK farmers to adjust to the new changes.

After an agreement with the EU and US, a trade deal with Australia has been one of Ms Truss’ main targets post-Brexit.

In moving towards agreeing a deal with Australia, the UK has been able to push to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Today, the CPTPP approved the UK’s bid to begin the accession process to join the bloc.

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The bloc itself accounted for £110billion of the UK’s trade in 2019.

Joining the group would also cut 95 percent of all tariffs on goods traded between the states.

It is also hoped the introduction of the US may increase the value of the 11-nation trade alliance which includes states such as Australia, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand.

Ms Truss said today: “CPTTP membership is a huge opportunity for Britain.

“It will help shift our economic centre of gravity away from Europe towards faster-growing parts of the world, and deepen our access to massive consumer markets in the Asia-Pacific.

“We would get all the benefits of joining a high-standards free trade area, but without having to cede control of our borders, money or laws.”

Commenting on the upcoming agreement with Australia, one Government spokesperson said: “Any deal we sign will include protections for the agriculture industry and will not undercut UK farmers or compromise our high standards.

“Hormone-fed beef is banned in the UK and will not be allowed to enter the UK market – this won’t change under any FTA.”

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