October 16, 2018 / 11:05 PM / a month ago

UK won't lower food standards to win post-Brexit trade deals: minister

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox leaves Downing Steet, London, Britain, October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s trade minister will “categorically” deny on Wednesday that the government plans to lower foods standards to win trade deals after Brexit.

The United States wants Britain to cut European Union regulations after Brexit to boost the chances of the two countries striking a free-trade deal.

To pave the way for a deal, Fox is planning to scrap European food standards, Business Insider reported last month.

“There have been a lot of reports lately, mostly on social media, that my department has been planning to lower food and farming standards when negotiating Free Trade Agreements post-Brexit,” Fox will tell farming industry representatives in a speech. “Let me tell you categorically that these reports are untrue.”

Opponents of Brexit argue a U.S. trade deal means opening up Britain’s markets to the likes of chlorine-treated chicken and genetically modified crops.

Fox played down public health concerns last year, saying consumers should be given a choice and the British media were obsessed with chlorine-washed chickens.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by John Stonestreet

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