British trade negotiators courting Joe Biden allies for post-Brexit trade deal


British trade negotiators are courting Joe Biden’s allies in case the Democrat candidate beats Donald Trump in the White House race, a Government minister revealed today.

Trade Minister Greg Hands also said chlorinated chicken would remain off the menu in the UK even if a deal is struck with the US.

Campaigners claim American farmers are desperate to be allowed to send cheap, chemically-washed poultry across the Atlantic – potentially piling pressure on British producers who cannot compete on price because of higher UK welfare standards.

Speaking at a Conservative Party conference fringe meeting, Mr Hands said existing EU rules banned chlorinated chicken, and the UK would maintain the ban once the Brexit transition ends this year.

He told the Cavendish Advocacy event: “Chlorinated chicken is already illegal in the UK under EU regulations that we rolled over into UK regulations on December 31.

There won’t be any chlorine-washed chicken coming to Britain, Mr Hands said

The Mirror visited a chicken farm in Gainesville, Georgia, earlier this year

“Chlorinated chicken is currently illegal and it will stay illegal at the end of the transition period.”

He added: “We have been absolutely clear that we won’t be compromising on our high standards of food safety, animal welfare and the environment – we have been crystal clear on that.”

Mr Hands said trade negotiations would continue whoever won next month’s presidential election.

“Maintaining bi-partisan support for doing a deal is very important,” he said.

“We have been careful to reach out to senators, members of Congress and state governors in both parties.

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Trade Minister Greg Hands

“The bi-partisan support for doing a deal in principle remains good and strong.”

The admission means UK teams have all-but accepted a pact will not be struck before American voters go to the polls on November 3.

Insiders said British teams had previously hoped to conclude a deal under Mr Trump’s leadership because he had spoken fondly of Britain.

In contrast, Mr Biden was vice-president under Barack Obama who infamously declared in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum that the UK would be “at the back of the queue” for a transatlantic trade deal.

U.S. President Barack Obama jokes with Vice-President Joe Biden
US President Barack Obama jokes with Vice-President Joe Biden in 2017

Mr Hands said: “We have been really keen throughout, notwithstanding the presidential election, to keep bi-partisan support in the US for doing a trade deal with the UK in principle.

“That has meant reaching out to governors, senators, members of Congress from both parties, while obviously recognising that we are negotiating with the current administration.

“I’m not expecting there to be a big change in some of the political impetus for doing a deal.

“There would likely be some changes within it, it’s really a bit too early to tell where a Biden presidency would take us generally in the area of trade, and specifically in terms of trade with the UK.

Mr Hands said British negotiators wee staying close to both sides in Congress

“We might see more of an emphasis on climate change and the environment, for example.

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“There are various things the UK would be able to handle.

“We are doing five simultaneous trade negotiations with different partners so I think we have got the ability to flex our negotiating stance if we need to if there is a change in administration or indeed if the current president takes trade policy in a slightly different direction.”





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