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    Keir Starmer demands legal protection for food standards

    Leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer (L) and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Anneliese Dodds (R) speak to a butcher in Stevenage indoor market as they make a visit to small businesses on June 25, 2020 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

    Britain should protect its food standards in law to help its own producers and prevent poor quality goods from entering the country via new trade deals after Brexit, opposition leader Keir Starmer said on Thursday.

    “Enshrine this in law, protect our food standards as they are, that’s what farmers want and what the vast majority of people want,” he told reporters. “There’s a real opportunity next week when legislation comes before parliament.

    “We’ve got high standards for food in Britain, that is a good thing. Nothing is guaranteed and the only way this can be done is to have those standards protected in law.”

    The negotiators are in fraught talks to reach a deal on the future relationship between the EU and Britain ahead of a meeting of the leaders of the 27-nation bloc next week. Further talks are scheduled in Brussels ahead of that summit.

    The two sides say they are inching towards a deal that would set terms for around $900 billion (£695 billion) in trade after 31 December – when the current transitional arrangements end – though sticking points remain on fishing, level playing-field issues and governance.

    The UK formally left the EU on 31 January, more than three years after it voted for Brexit in a referendum.

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