We wrote to Julian Sturdy asking if he would support a fair trade deal on 26 June, he has still not replied by 6 July. Here is our letter
I am sure you are aware of the negotiations between the UK and the US government to develop a free trade agreement between the two countries. I am sure that you are also ware of the commitments made many times by the government including in the 2019 Conservative Party election manifesto to “Raise standards in areas like workers’ rights, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment” (p5). I am very concerned that the government appears to be giving way to pressure from the US and reneging on these commitments.
As a farmer yourself you must be extremely concerned by reports that the government is considering lowering animal welfare and food standards (including allowing chlorinated chicken). If US companies are allowed to export these products to the UK then they will make many UK farms uneconomic, or we will have to lower our standards to compete. This is clearly not taking back control but would be deferring control to the US instead of the EU. What is more, most free trade agreements have 10 to 20 year notice periods so it would bind up to four subsequent parliaments, removing any control from us for many years.
Please will you write to the Prime Minister and the Minister for International Trade explaining that this not what the people of York want and urging them not to concede lower standards as part of the trade negotiations.
Chair, York Green Party