Fox pressed on chlo­rine-washed

● In­ter­na­tional Trade Sec­re­tary con­demns me­dia ‘ob­ses­sion’ and said closer ties could boost pros­per­ity in both coun­tries

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By DAVID HUGHES

to global lib­er­al­i­sa­tion and the in­creased pros­per­ity of both the UK, the US and our trad­ing part­ners, the com­plex­i­ties of those – the con­ti­nu­ity agree­ments, the short-term gains that we may make, the op­por­tu­ni­ties we have and our abil­ity to work jointly to­wards both a free-trade agree­ment and WTO lib­er­al­i­sa­tion – the Bri­tish me­dia are ob­sessed with chlo­rine-washed chick­ens, a de­tail of the very end stage of one sec­tor of a po­ten­tial free trade agree­ment. I say no more than that.”

Dr Fox urged Re­main­ers to ac­cept the re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum and help se­cure the best out­come for the UK rather than seek to “thwart” Brexit.

The promi­nent Brex­i­teer said: “Those who are still in­tent on try­ing to thwart the process, or seem to hope that some­thing will mag­i­cally ap­pear that will change the ref­er­en­dum re­sults, they are dream­ing.”

An­swer­ing ques­tions fol­low­ing a speech at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute con­ser­va­tive think-tank, Dr Fox said it would be “op­ti­mistic” to think a free-trade deal with the EU could be con­cluded by the time of Brexit in March 2019 but min­is­ters were sup­port­ive of a tran­si­tional deal so that busi­nesses would not face a cliff-edge change in the rules. There was a “grow­ing con­sen­sus” in Cab­i­net for an “im­ple­men­ta­tion” phase, which would see the UK vol­un­tar­ily keep some of the EU’S laws and rules, he said.

But he re­jected Brus­sels’ de­mands for the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice to guar­an­tee the rights of EU cit­i­zens in the UK af­ter Brexit, say­ing it was a “very strange view of ju­rispru­dence”.

Theresa May’s spokesman said it was too early to dis­cuss de­tails of any trade deal, such as the is­sue of chlo­ri­nated chicken.

Labour MP Ben Brad­shaw, a lead­ing sup­porter of the Open Bri­tain cam­paign, said: “The govern­ment is putting the Fox in charge of the hen coop when it comes to food safety. This row about chlo­rine chicken is a di­rect re­sult of the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to leave the sin­gle mar­ket. They are so des­per­ate for new trade deals to make up for some of the losses that they seem ready to com­pro­mise on the safety of the food we eat.”

Bri­tain is to re­lease a re­port de­tail­ing the UK’S trade links with ev­ery sin­gle one of the 435 con­gres­sional dis­tricts in the US, in an ef­fort to win the back­ing of Amer­i­can politi­cians for a swift postbrexit trade deal.

The pub­li­ca­tion, which highlights more than 700,000 US jobs sup­ported by ex­ports to the UK in 2015, has been com­piled by an US/UK trade and in­vest­ment work­ing group set up by Dr Fox’s Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional Trade.

In his speech to the AEI, Dr Fox warned global growth and pros­per­ity were un­der threat from an in­crease in pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures “silt­ing up” world trade since the crash of 2008. He called for swift com­ple­tion of the mooted Trade in Ser­vices Agree­ment to lib­er­alise trade in sec­tors such as bank­ing and health­care.

Chick­ens – more specif­i­cally the chlo­rine-washed va­ri­ety –are ‘a

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