On Thursday 2nd February Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they will put in place following Brexit to safeguard environmental standards and biodiversity.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, we are all reassured that EU environmental legislation is going to be enshrined within UK law, but we will probably be coming out of the single market and entering into a series of trade negotiations with, for example, the United States. Trade negotiations are just that: we will have to make compromises. Will the Minister assure the House that we will not be producing our food to lower standards or consuming food that has been produced more cheaply by undercutting our industry—for example, chicken washed in chlorine and beef reared on growth hormones?
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: My Lords, as I said before, it is important to note that this country has had a very long history of being in advance even of EU law. In fact, our Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was enacted a decade before the EU habitats directive. The whole direction of travel in this country has been to lead on these matters. We will be working hard in my department to ensure that there is no diminution in standards. We wish to encourage our farmers to produce the best food possible because brand Britain is about high animal welfare standards and high environmental standards.