Food has got more expensive since Brexit and things will only get worse, SNP warns
Food has got more expensive since Brexit and things will only get worse, the SNP have claimed.
Sunday, 18th October 2020, 7:00 am
Pointing to OECD data, the party has warned Britain’s European exit is already hitting the pockets of the public despite things getting cheaper in an independent Ireland.
They say the figures show UK food prices are suffering from post-Brexit inflation at a time standards are at further risk due to a US trade deal that could see the market flooded with chlorinated chicken.
The OECD stats show Ireland saw food price inflation decrease annually between 2015 and 2019, while UK products were hit with a sharp turn away from negative inflation that the SNP claim will see consumers pay out more for less.
Now SNP DEFRA spokesperson Deidre Brock MP has claimed Scotland becoming independent is the only way to avoid the “dangerous double threat” of higher prices and worse standards sparked by a UK-US trade deal.
She said: “Ordinary folk will pay the price for a Tory Brexit, not Boris Johnson and his high-flying cronies. Scotland voted to Remain in the EU, but this research shows clearly that the Brexit effect means inflated prices.
“The food on our plates faces a double threat from Westminster. While our food prices face inflating even higher under a low or no-deal Brexit, our hard-working farmers and world-class agriculture sector face being undercut by cheap imports of hormone-injected beef and chlorinated chicken served up as part of a dodgy UK-US trade deal.
“The only way for Scotland to rule out this grossly unfair and damaging Brexit future is with independence.
“Until then, SNP MPs will continue to speak up for Scottish farmers and work to protect our food standards from a dystopian Tory race to the bottom.”
A UK Government spokesperson dismissed the concerns, insisting the UK was a “world leader” in standards and that would “not change”.
The spokesperson said: “This government has been clear it will not sign a trade deal that will compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards, and claims to the contrary are unhelpful scaremongering.
“Chlorinated chicken and hormone treated beef are not permitted for import into the UK.
“This will be retained through the EU Withdrawal Act and enshrined in UK law at the end of the transition period.
“The government is focused on getting trade deals that protect and advance the interests of our farmers and consumers.
“If a deal isn’t the right one, we will walk away.”
A separate UK Government source said: “Food standards and chlorine chicken are the hardest-working scare stories in the pantheon on nationalist myth making.
“The nationalists claim that chlorine chicken will be bombarded as a result of not one, but two UK government bills, the Agriculture Bill and Internal Market Bill, both of which will bring huge benefits to Scotland.”
It comes just days after a Lords amendment to require agriculture and food imports meet UK domestic standards was overturned by MPs.
Despite a Tory rebellion, including Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, MPs voted 332-279.
It was put before Parliament to block imported food from places with lower animal welfare standards.
The UK Government has insisted existing protections are already in place and they have no intention of watering them down.