Leaked document shows Johnson has no intention of maintaining high standards after UK leaves the EU
While the article below focuses on Boris Johnson's plan to scrap workers' rights post-Brexit, it's clear that his proposed deal would also make a bonfire of the EU's environmental and food safety rules.
That in turn would result in the UK's losing the EU regulatory framework for GMOs. The result would be no – or minimal – safety assessments for GM foods and seeds and no GMO labelling, in line with Trump's wishes.
Similarly, EU rules on pesticides and hormone-treated meat would cease to apply to the UK.
If Johnson's plan succeeds, the UK will be in a "race to the bottom" in order to match the lax US standards.
‘This confirms our worst fears’: Brexit deal will allow Boris Johnson to cut workers’ rights, leak reveals
The Independent, 26 Oct 2019
* Prime minister accused of misleading parliament – after official paper boasts his agreement ‘leaves room for interpretation’
The Brexit deal will allow the UK to slash protections for workers’ rights and the environment, a leaked document reveals – prompting accusations that Boris Johnson has misled parliament.
The prime minister is wooing Labour MPs with a promise to maintain “level playing field” rules with the EU, which also include safety and consumer standards.
But the official paper, drafted by the Brexit department and shared with ministers, makes clear the commitment in the agreement “leaves room for interpretation”, the Financial Times revealed.
It said the UK’s and EU’s “interpretation of these [level playing field] commitments will be very different” and that the text represented a “much more open starting point for future relationship negotiations”.
The document also boasts that “UK negotiators successfully resisted the inclusion of all UK-wide LPF rules” that were part of Theresa May’s doomed Brexit deal.
Labour seized on the leak as proof that “this Conservative government has no intention of maintaining high standards after we leave the EU”.
“These documents confirm our worst fears. Boris Johnson’s Brexit is a blueprint for a deregulated economy, which will see vital rights and protections torn up,” said Jenny Chapman, Labour’s Brexit spokesperson.
“It is also clear Boris Johnson was misleading parliament earlier this week. You simply can’t trust a word Boris Johnson says.”
The leak could hit the prime minister’s hopes of winning Labour support for his Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the Commons, if he decides to bring it back.
Nineteen of the party’s MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn to back it in principle last Tuesday – but many left open the option of switching sides if the details unravelled.
The issue will come to a head, if Brexit goes ahead, when the UK begins talks to forge a new trade deal with the EU. They must be completed by the end of 2020.
Mr Johnson once described employment regulation as “back-breaking”, fuelling Labour suspicions that any verbal promises cannot be trusted.
Last month, the prime minister set out a vision of Britain as a low-tax, lightly regulated economy on the edge of Europe – a vision that alarms some EU leaders.
They have warned that Britain’s prospects of getting an ambitious trade deal with Brussels depend on it continuing to uphold the EU’s robust rules.
Ms May’s deal included a legal commitment not to roll back EU regulatory standards as long as her backstop plan for preventing a hard Irish border was needed.
But Mr Johnson’s replacement scraps that plan for all of the UK to remain in the customs union, at least temporarily, in favour of Northern Ireland-only alignment.
Instead, the future status of workers’ rights and environmental protections is consigned to the political declaration – which has no legal force.
The Department for Exiting the European Union declined to comment on the document.
But Kwasi Kwarteng, the business minister, called the suggestions “way exaggerated”, arguing it would be “completely mad” from the government’s perspective.
“It wouldn’t make any sense at all to dilute workers’ rights in building that coalition to land the bill,” he told the BBC.