28 November 2019 – today’s press releases (part 1)

It’s been a very busy day today, so these are split into two parts…

  • Leaked documents reveal Trump trade deal threat to UK farming
  • Lib Dems: NHS staff shortages worsen under Tories
  • Lib Dems: neither the Tories or Labour have a credible plan for the economy
  • Lib Dems would halt ‘Brexodus’

Leaked documents reveal Trump trade deal threat to UK farming

Leaked documents from US-UK trade deal talks reveal the threat posed to British farmers from a trade deal with Donald Trump, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

The detailed documents reveal years of talks between UK and US trade negotiators, with American officials pushing to allow greater use of chemicals in food production, including chlorine-washing chicken and other foods, including beef.

The US team even agreed to share their ‘public lines’ on chlorine-washed chicken to help UK officials try to sell the controversial practice to British consumers and help ‘inform the media narrative’.

The documents show that US negotiators had ‘the most angst’ about EU limits to the use of chemicals in food production, trying to persuade the UK to change seek a clean break from EU rules that protect UK consumers by maintaining high standards in farms and the food industry across the UK.

These rules were repeatedly discussed over two years, with the documents in July 2018 revealing a ‘challenging and difficult’ meeting, where US officials saw ‘sanitary and phytosanitary’ (SPS) rules as the biggest ‘sticking point’. EU rules on SPS limit many pesticides, veterinary drugs like growth hormones, and pathogen reduction treatments such as chlorine washing, that are allowed under US Agriculture rules.

The US team said that maintaining the EU’s high standards for UK food production was ‘the worst case scenario’. They added that in a no deal situation there would be ‘all to play for.’

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

These documents show that a Donald Trump post-Brexit trade deal poses a threat to the family farm as we know it. The US has far lower animal welfare and food standards, especially on the use of chemicals and growth hormones.

The Conservative party’s desperation for a US trade deal risks meaning these lower food standards are adopted by the UK.

British farmers would then face a perfect storm, losing tariff-free access to vital European markets while being undercut by low-standard imports from the vast US industrialised agriculture sector.

The Liberal Democrats are determined to stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal that threatens British consumers and farmers. We will stop Boris, stop Brexit and uphold Britain’s world-leading food standards.

Lib Dems: NHS staff shortages worsen under Tories

Responding to the latest statistics on NHS vacancies, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care Luciana Berger said:

These figures show how the Tories have utterly failed to tackle the chronic staff shortages facing the NHS. As we approach yet another winter crisis, our hospitals remain understaffed meaning more cancelled appointments and worsening patient care.

For years the Conservatives have ignored the NHS staffing crisis and now they are proposing to make it even worse. The Conservative’s Nurse Tax will hit the NHS’s ability to recruit the nurses from the EU that we desperately need to address current shortfalls.

Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future where the NHS has the staff it needs and patients receive the care they need. We will stop Brexit and invest in the NHS by raising £7 billion a year from a penny on income tax; using a proportion of this investment to tackle urgent workforce shortages.

Lib Dems: neither the Tories or Labour have a credible plan for the economy

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ analysis of the three main parties’ manifestos, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Ed Davey said:

This damning assessment shows that neither the Tories or Labour have a credible plan for the economy. Both are failing to come clean with the electorate and ignoring the Brexit black hole their plans would leave in the public finances. Everyone knows you can’t have something for nothing, but both the Tories and Labour are pretending you can.

Only the Liberal Democrats are being frank about your money and how we’d spend it. We will stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain bonus in tackling inequality, improving our vital public services and strengthening the economy. We are being up front with the British people that investing properly in our NHS and social care will mean all chipping in a little more, by putting a penny on income tax to raise £7 billion a year.

Lib Dems would halt ‘Brexodus’

Responding to the Office National Statistics’ latest immigration statistics which show that the immigration of EU citizens have fallen to their lowest level since March 2013, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Christine Jardine said:

These latest ONS statistics are scandalous. They show that Brexit is undermining our economy and threatening jobs by driving EU citizens away in record numbers.

EU citizens are vital workers for businesses across the country. But these statistics today prove that Brexit is only going to deprive UK employers of access to workers, making business so much more difficult for entrepreneurs up and down the country.

The Liberal Democrats have a clear plan to halt this ‘Brexodus’. We will stop Brexit, preserve freedom of movement and build a brighter future.

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2 Comments

  • Peter Martin 29th Nov '19 - 7:56am

    “This damning assessment …. neither the Tories or Labour have a credible plan for the economy…….ignoring the Brexit black hole their plans would leave in the public finances……Everyone knows you can’t have something for nothing…….”

    More neoliberal nonsense.

    Try answering this question:

    Suppose the Govt removes £10 bn of spending from its budget. This deflates the economy and govt income then falls by £9 bn. So the deficit only falls by 1 bn. Unemployment rises. Wages fall. The govt decides this hasn’t been a good move and has second thoughts. It decides it wants things back as they were previously and wants to spend the £10 billion back into the economy as previously. What is the correct course of action?

    1) Raise taxes by £10 billion so that it can then spend the £10 billion of new revenue.

    2) Find £10 billion of savings from somewhere else so it can spend the £10 billion as previously.

    3) Just spend the £10 billion anyway.

    It’s not that hard, is it? 🙂

  • The disclosures about the US-UK trade ‘discussions’, show just how naive the Brexiteers ideas are trade negotiations and that the UK will easily be able to negotiate its own favourable trade deals. They also give the lie to Boris and his colleagues acting in the interests of the UK people, because Boris has demonstrated through his redrafting of the Withdrawal Agreement that he has already conceded to US demands, with no benefit to the UK gained in return.

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