Liz Truss has come under fire after boasting British apples are being exported to India “for the first time in over 50 years”
The secretary of state of international trade shared a post by international trade minister Ranil Jayawardena, in which he claimed “another barrier” had been “brought down”.
In a video recorded whilst he was visiting a British family farm growing apples, Jayawardena claimed a trade deal with India can boost business and jobs.
But Wiltshire farmer Liz Webster labelled the stunt as “just a distraction” and highlighted there are already staff shortages.
In fact, the UK was part of the EU for less than 50 years, which suggests the UK may have chosen not to export apples to India beforehand, rather than the suggestion that the bloc did not allow them to do so.
What is more, Belgium exported 10 million kilograms of apples to India in 2017, according to business newspaper De Tijd.
Liz Truss says because of brexit the UK can export apples to India— UK is with EU (@ukiswitheu) July 10, 2021
In 2017, Belgium exported 10 million kilos of apples to India
Liz Webster told The London Economic: “Celebrating apples being exported to India when we are losing the ability to export many products to the EU is just a distraction.
“90 per cent of our food exports went to the EU as part of an efficient system which minimised food miles and food waste.”
Webster said that in chasing trade deals outside the European bloc, the UK is now having to “capitulate” to big agricultural producers.
This means the UK is having to “accept our domestic market being flooded with their surplus products, which are cheaper than British food because they are reared using lower standards”, according to her.
Rejoin the EU
“If this government was concerned about the British people, it would be aligning to EU regulations and rejoining the single market and customs union. This solves our food crisis, staff shortages and Northern Ireland dilemmas all in one,” she added.
Webster also told TLE the “apple myth” is just one of the ways in which the UK government is delivering the “worst of all worlds” agriculturally.
Last week, Truss also claimed the UK signed “the most advanced trade deal that Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have ever agreed” whilst boasting about its supposed benefits.
Today the UK signed the most advanced trade deal that Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have ever agreed 🇬🇧🇳🇴🇮🇸🇱🇮— Liz Truss (@trussliz) July 8, 2021
👉Slash tariffs & support jobs
👉Boost a trading relationship worth £21.6 bn
👉Cut red tape, making it easier for firms to export across borders 👇 pic.twitter.com/r82xN7pwgc
Norway says UK trade deal ‘not as comprehensive’ as EU one
But a statement from the Norwegian government reveals the its deal with the UK is only “the most comprehensive trade agreement with the exception of the EEA Agreement”.
The comment stressed the fact that the UK is Norway’s “second most important market, after the EU”.
It said that the UK agreement is “not as comprehensive as the EEA Agreement” and that “no free trade agreement will provide the same access to the UK market, nor will it dismantle all the trade barriers that have been removed under the EEA Agreement.”