Many thanks for your email and for making Siobhan aware of your concerns regarding UK pesticide standards.
Siobhan is currently on maternity leave and while she is still working on as many local matters as possible herself, as her office, we are also continuing to raise and represent the views of her constituents.
Please note that Siobhan usually provides full and personalised responses to all campaign issues raised. During her maternity leave she has however asked us to provide you with Government information so you are not waiting for a response. We have investigated and please note the following from Ministers:
The Government is committed to ensuring that future trade agreements must work for our farmers and consumers, and Ministers have firmly committed to maintaining Britain’s high environmental and food safety standards in future trade agreements. Indeed, the Government is determined to see the UK remain a global leader in food standards outside the EU. Our existing high standards and import requirements, including the use of pesticides, will continue to apply after the end of the Transition Period. This is because the Withdrawal Act will transfer existing food safety provisions onto the UK’s statute book, including current import requirements.
In addition, our domestic food production and food import standards, including the use of pesticides, will continue to be overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. Both these agencies will continue to provide independent advice to the UK Government and the Scottish Government.
The Government has recently launched a Trade and Agriculture Commission, consisting of retailers, farming unions, consumer, hospitality and environmental bodies from across the UK and chaired by a food safety expert. The Commission will ensure that there is close engagement between the Government and the agriculture industry to help inform, shape and guide agricultural trade policy.
This Commission will give expert advice to the Government regarding the policies it should adopt in free trade agreements to make sure that our high food and environmental standards are not undermined.
If there is any other specific action you would like us to take on this issue, please let us know. Also, if you would like to see Siobhan at a surgery appointment later in the year, or have a surgery appointment in the meantime with her office, we would be very happy to arrange this for you.
I hope you are keeping well. Our office is assisting constituents during the Covid 19 pandemic and if we can be of any assistance to you, please do let us know.