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Michael Gove Would Block UK-US Free Trade Deal Over Chlorinated Chicken

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The Guardian

The UK would back out of any trade deal that required it to accept lower standards, such as allowing imports of chlorinated chicken from the US, the environment secretary has said, deepening the cabinet split over the issue.

Michael Gove has opposed the suggestion by the trade secretary, Liam Fox, that the UK should be open to the prospect of allowing poultry treated with a chlorine wash process, which is banned by the EU, as part of a trade deal with the US.

The row has overshadowed Fox’s trip to America this week to discuss the potential for a deal and, on Wednesday, Gove went further, indicating that lowering environmental or agricultural standards would be a deal-breaker.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he was asked whether chlorinated chicken, given as an example of a product that does not meet EU standards but which the US produces, should be allowed. “No,” he said.

He agreed that the US would have to “kiss goodbye” to a trade deal if it included such imports. “Critically, we need to ensure that we do not compromise those standards. And I said last week when I was speaking to the WWF environmental charity that we need to be in a position as we leave the European Union to be leaders in environmental and in animal welfare standards.”

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