The “Tsar” of the Russian-linked group successfully lobbying for a hard Brexit has suggested lowering food standards could help secure trade deals.
Shanker Singham, economic director of the Legatum Institute, says accepting chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef would make agreements easier.
Scrapbook found the controversial position in a paper published by the Legatum Institute in June about how to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
Our story comes after the Mail on Sunday revealed Singham’s close ties to Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
The paper reported that Singham coordinated the letter sent by Gove and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson which convinced Theresa May to turn towards a harder Brexit.
It concluded that he has become a “Brexit Tsar” after holding 7 “secret” meetings with ministers over the last year:
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) November 25, 2017
The paper photographed Singham leaving a behind closed doors seminar on Brexit in the Commons on Friday, which was attended by Gove.
Government records also show that Gove met Singham for “EU exit advice” shortly after being appointed as Environment Secretary.
Some of the most contentious issues around Brexit fall under Gove’s portfolio – environmental protections, animal welfare and food standards.
Singham addressed two of those issues in the Legatum Institute paper on a post-Brexit trade deal with the US:
It suggests that Britain could retain its high standards on animal welfare – by being “prepared to give” over food standards:
SPS is jargon for food standards and those ‘difficult issues’ are chlorine chicken and hormone fed beef, as Legatum’s paper explicitly sets out in its list of “UK barriers” to a trade deal:
The Legatum Institute denies having an undue influence over the Government’s direction on Brexit.
Whether chlorine-washed chicken ends up winging its way over here will be a key test of that.
The proof will truly be in the eating…