UK farmers fear being undercut by cheap imports under post-Brexit trade deals

Opposition among UK farmers is growing towards a trade deal close to being concluded with Australia. They say there are no meaningful safeguards in place to stop farmers being undercut by cheap imports, the BBC reports.

Farmers in Australia are allowed to use some hormone growth promoters, pesticides, and feed additives that are banned in the UK.

According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost, and could undercut farmers in the UK.

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.

Beef farmer Dave Barton, speaking to the BBC.

In response, the government says the Trade and Agriculture Commission - an independent advisory board set up to inform government trade policy - will be able to examine the text of the agreement once "all parts are concluded".

The chief executives of 10 leading UK green groups, including Sustain and the WWF, recently wrote to the government describing Australia as a "laggard" on global climate action.

They said a tariff-free deal would force UK farmers to compete with more environmentally destructive farming methods.

A UK 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."

By Charlesdrakew - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

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