Trade Secretary Liam Fox is reportedly open to importing chlorine-washed chickens from the US in order to secure a post-Brexit trade deal.
Dr Fox is travelling to Washington DC where he will meet US trade representative Robert Lighthizer for two days of talks at the first UK-US trade and investment working group.
The American Farming Association is adamant any deal must include agriculture, meaning chlorinated chickens, hormone-fed beef and genetically modified crops could be exported to the UK.
The Daily Telegraph reports a cabinet split on the issue, with Dr Fox and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arguing their case against Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
The Adam Smith Institute, a UK think-tank, has called for the Government to scrap the EU ban on chlorine-washed chickens.
It said US chickens were more than a fifth cheaper than in the UK and claimed that a person would have to eat three chlorine-washed chickens daily for an extended period to risk any harm.
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Of his visit, Dr Fox said: “Although it’s too early to say exactly what would be covered in a potential deal, the working group is the means to ensure we get to know each other’s issues and identify areas where we can work together to strengthen trade and investment ties.”
The Foreign Secretary, meanwhile, is in New Zealand as part of a nine-day overseas tour.
Mr Johnson was welcomed onto a marae (Maori meeting ground) in Kaikoura shortly after his arrival in New Zealand, which he reportedly described as “the most mind-numbingly beautiful country that I have ever seen”.
During his short visit, Mr Johnson will meet Prime Minister Bill English and foreign minister Gerry Brownlee.
He will also unveil a new UK war memorial at Pukeahu in Wellington, laying a wreath to commemorate the shared sacrifices of both countries.
Mr Johnson will then visit Australia for talks with foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop.
Under European Union rules, trade deals cannot be signed until after the UK’s divorce from the EU is finalised but it is hoped these talks will pave the way for quick agreements with the two countries.
Source: Sky News