I understand the strength of feeling on this issue. The current high standards of pesticides in the UK safeguards people and the environment from any potential harm, and consumers want to know that these standards will remain. I do not support relaxing the UK’s high standards in any new trade agreements.
I have raised your concerns with colleagues in Government and they have assured me that the UK will not compromise on its high food and environmental standards. The use of pesticides will only be permitted where the scientific assessments demonstrate that there is no danger of their use causing harm to people or the environment.
At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will be in a position to decide its own regulations on pesticides. This will enable the UK to develop its own dynamic system, that will continue to deliver high standards of protection for the environment and people.
I understand that the Government has been engaging with the agricultural sector in trade discussions, including the National Farmers Union. I encourage these engagements to continue and am confident that the concerns of farmers and other parties are well represented to the Government during discussions.
I encourage the continued use of a scientific approach to pesticides after the Transition Period, ensuring robust protections for people and the environment.