The Liberal Democrats have warned that leaving the Single Market and opening up Britain’s food markets to cheap imports will risk putting farmers out of business and lowering animal welfare rules, as Theresa May prepares for her summit with President Trump where a UK-US trade deal is expected to be at the top of the agenda.
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron is visiting West Illand Farm today (Wednesday 25th January) in Launceston, Cornwall to discuss the implications of a hard Brexit on UK farming. He will also be accompanied by the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Cornwall and former DEFRA minister Dan Rogerson.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Tim Farron said:
“Hard Brexit and a free trade deal with Trump pose a threat to the family farm as we know it.
“Pulling Britain out of the Single Market would hit UK farmers especially hard, as tariffs for agricultural products are far higher than in other sectors.
“The US also has far lower animal welfare and food standards than we do, including on factory farming, the use of growth hormones and antibiotics.
“British farmers therefore risk facing a perfect storm, losing tariff-free access to vital European markets while being undercut by imports from the US and elsewhere.
“The Liberal Democrats will fight to hold Theresa May to account over her plans for a hard Brexit and ensure the British people are given a say on the final deal.
“The public did not vote to weaken animal welfare standards or put British farmers out of business.”