'The British public are overwhelmingly willing to ditch plans for a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States in order to protect the UK’s high food safety standards, new polling seen by The Independent shows.
The finding amounts to a public vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s Brexit trade strategy, which aims to paper-over a potential hit to EU commerce by having “global Britain” sign deals with other countries around the world – the richest of which is the US.
American trade negotiators are expected to demand Britain opens its markets to US foodstuffs that are currently illegal under EU rules as the price of a free trade agreement. Practices banned in the EU but currently widespread in the US including chlorine-washed chickens, hormone-treated beef, meat from animals fed on chicken faeces and crops washed with controversial herbicide chemicals.
A recent US trade department appraisal of EU safety regulations complained of “costly and burdensome” stipulations in European regulations on meat and described aspects of the EU’s regulations on the use of chemicals as “simply unnecessary”.
When asked whether ditching current standards would be a price worth paying for a deal, a full 82 per cent of the public said keeping current regulations in place should take priority – even if they killed a deal – compared to just 8 per cent who said a free trade agreement with the US should go ahead.'
Read more: Ditch trade deal with Trump rather than accept chlorinated chicken, Britons say
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