Thank you for contacting me about pesticides and trade agreements.
I know the Government is committed to ensuring that future trade agreements must work for our farmers and consumers, and Ministers have firmly committed to maintaining Britain’s high environmental and food safety standards in future trade agreements.
Indeed, the Government is determined to see the UK remain a global leader in food standards outside the EU.
Our existing high standards and import requirements, including those surrounding the use of pesticides, will continue to apply after the end of the Transition Period. This is because the Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing food safety provisions onto the UK’s statute book, including current import requirements.
In addition, our domestic food production and food import standards will continue to be overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. Both these agencies will continue to provide independent advice to the UK Government and the Scottish Government respectively.
You may also be interested to hear that the Government has recently launched a Trade and Agriculture Commission consisting of retailers, farming unions, consumer, hospitality and environmental bodies from across the UK which is chaired by a food safety expert. The Commission will ensure that there is close engagement between the Government and the agriculture industry to help inform, shape and guide agricultural trade policy.
This Commission will give expert advice to the Government regarding the policies it should adopt in free trade agreements to make sure that our high food and environmental standards are not undermined.
I hope this response has provided a measure of reassurance and thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP