Canada has pledged to fill British supermarket shelves with hormone-pumped beef as the two countries opened post-Brexit trade talks.
At a press conference, Canada’s trade minister claimed its beef – which is given synthetic treatment to boost growth, like in the US and Australia – is “second to none”.
Revealing her desire for “access to the British market”, Mary Ng said: “I am here to sell brand Canada, boy-oh-boy, and I’m going to keep doing that.”
She added: “What I would say is that these negotiations are beginning. And what I would say to all markets across the world, including the United States, is that the high quality of our beef and of our products and of our producers is second to none.”
‘Transformational trade deal’
Standing next to her counterpart, Anne Marie-Trevelyan – the UK’s international trade secretary – did not respond to the beef pledge.
Instead, she hailed the opening of trade talks and said the two countries will be “working at pace to get to a transformational trade deal”.
But in reality, the benefits of any agreement are likely to be minuscule – because 98 per cent of goods exports are already covered tariff-free under an existing deal rolled over from EU membership.
Brexit has sparked a 15 per cent decline in trade with the EU, due to a mountain of red tape.
It comes as French banks started hitting Brits with a €5 charge every time they withdraw cash.
Crédit Agricole said it would levy the fee on any withdrawals made with UK-issued credit and debit cards.
And the bank has begun imposing a new €18 flat fee on any bank transfers coming from Britain, as the UK’s post-Brexit isolation begins to bite.
According to European media reports, more European banks are set to follow suit.
Britain’s divorce from Brussels means that rules which dictate that EU-wide charges can not be higher than costs for domestic transfers no longer apply.
While the terms of the Brexit deal meant act the UK retained the ability to use the infrastructure – known as SEPA – the cost cap no longer applies, so European banks are entitled to start charging fees for transfers and withdrawals.
The charge has already impacted millions of Brits, including second home owners and those living in France or elsewhere in Europe.