By Lamiat Sabin
BORIS JOHNSON was accused of “dancing to Donald Trump’s tune” today for downplaying fears a US trade deal would undermine food safety standards.
The PM said that he shares the US President’s “optimism,” and insisted that their deal would have “enormous potential” and would be “governed by science and not by mumbo-jumbo.”
Mr Johnson condemned critics as “naive and juvenile anti-Americans” who should “grow up.”
Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now described Mr Johnson’s speech as his “usual pantomime set-piece” while the clock has already begun ticking to strike a UK-EU deal before the end of the year.
The EU published a draft 33-page document on its negotiating objectives yesterday that calls for “reciprocal access” for fishing.
It states that a free trade area with no tariffs or quotas was contingent on a “level playing field … ensured through robust commitments.”
Mr Johnson said he is intent on a Canada-style agreement with the trading bloc and that he would be prepared to walk away without a full trade deal if it were not possible.
He said his government could consider a fisheries agreement, but with “annual negotiations” and assurances that “British fishing grounds are first and foremost for British boats.”
Mr Dearden argued that Mr Johnson is “a million miles from the EU offer, and that’s because he’s intent on dancing to Donald Trump’s tune.”
He said: “The only way Johnson can get his treasured trade deal with the US is to give away British standards and allow US multinationals to have a bonanza at the expense of people and the planet.
“But Johnson is going to find this very difficult because most British people have also been shown to be hostile to any trade deal made on these terms. Nor will the EU agree to it.
“Beneath the usual bluster and bravado, we can see Johnson clearly rattled by the scale of opposition to a US trade deal.”
He added that there is also a “deep-seated” opposition to the import of meat produced in atrocious conditions, GM foods, higher medicine costs and carcinogenic chemicals.
In his speech, Mr Johnson said the NHS would not be up for negotiation with the US and insisted that Britain will “not accept any diminution in food hygiene or animal welfare standards.”