Food has got more expensive since Brexit and things will only get worse, SNP warns

Food has gotten more expensive since Brexit and it's only getting worse, the SNP has claimed.

Sunday, October 18, 2020, 7:00 a.m.

<img alt = "" aria-hidden = "true" class = "i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" role = "Presentation" src = "Data: image / svg + xml; character set = utf-8,"/>The SNP has claimed that food prices have risen and standards are falling
The SNP has claimed that food prices have risen and standards are falling

Citing OECD data, the party has warned that Britain's exit from Europe is already making its mark, although it will be cheaper in an independent Ireland.

They say the numbers show UK post-Brexit food prices suffer from inflation when standards are at further risk due to a US trade deal that could flood the market with chlorinated chicken.

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OECD statistics show that in Ireland between 2015 and 2019, food price inflation fell annually, while UK products were heavily turned away from negative inflation, which suggests that consumers will pay more for less, according to the SNP.

Now SNP DEFRA spokesman Deidre Brock MP has claimed that Scotland is the only way to avoid the “dangerous double threat” of higher prices and lower standards triggered by a trade agreement between the UK and the US.

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Agriculture promises to fight defeat by food standards

She said: “Ordinary people will pay the price of a Tory Brexit, not Boris Johnson and his high-flying friends. Scotland voted to stay in the EU, but this research clearly shows that the Brexit effect means inflated prices.

“The food on our plates faces a double threat from Westminster. While our food prices will rise even higher in a low or incomplete Brexit, our hard-working farmers and the top-tier farming sector will be undercut by cheap imports of injected beef and chlorinated chicken served as part of a seedy UK-US trade deal.

“The only way for Scotland to rule out this grossly unfair and damaging Brexit future is independence.

"Until then, SNP MPs will continue to stand up for Scottish farmers and work to protect our food standards from a dystopian Tory race to the bottom."

A UK government spokesman dismissed the concerns, insisting that the UK was a "world leader" in standards and that "would not change".

The spokesman said: "This government has made it clear that it will not sign a trade agreement that compromises our high environmental, animal welfare and food standards, and claims to the contrary are not helpful scare tactics.

“Beef treated with chlorinated chicken and hormones cannot be imported into the UK.

"This will be maintained by the EU Withdrawal Act and anchored in UK law at the end of the transition period.

“The government is focused on trade deals that protect and advance the interests of our farmers and consumers.

"If a deal isn't the right one, we'll leave."

A separate UK government source said: “Food standards and chlorinated chicken are the toughest working scare stories in the pantheon of creating nationalist myths.

"Nationalists claim that chlorinated chicken is being bombarded by not just one but two British government laws, the Agriculture Act and the Internal Market Act, which will bring tremendous benefits to Scotland."

It comes just days after a Lords amendment calling for agriculture and food imports to meet UK domestic standards was overturned by MPs.

Despite a Tory uprising that included Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, MPs voted between 332 and 279.

It was put before parliament to block imported food from places with lower animal welfare standards.

The UK government has insisted that safeguards are in place and they have no intention of watering them down.

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