George Eustice – speeches and questions

George Eustice MP recent speeches

  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dairy Industry: Covid-19 (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: The Government have had to take some unprecedented steps to control the coronavirus, and it is the case that parts of the dairy industry were affected by the closure of the hospitality sector earlier in March. We have introduced specific measures to support the industry, including a dairy response fund, which opened for applications on 18 June. Payments will begin from 6 July. We have also...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dairy Industry: Covid-19 (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. The Government do indeed work with the devolved Administrations to improve outcomes for our dairy farmers. Indeed, just yesterday, jointly with the devolved Administration, we launched a consultation seeking views from dairy farmers and processors on new regulations to secure transparency and fairness in dairy contracts. As he points out, there are...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dual Tariff Proposals: British Food Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: Like all Conservative Members, I am proud to have stood on a manifesto commitment that, in all our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. The Secretary of State for International Trade and I are working together to deliver that commitment.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dual Tariff Proposals: British Food Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: Retained European law brings across a prohibition on treatments such as chlorine washes on chicken and, indeed, hormone treatments on beef. The Government have made it clear that those have been brought across and remain in place. We also stand by our manifesto commitment, which was to protect our food standards and animal welfare standards in trade agreements, but we did not ever say that we...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dual Tariff Proposals: British Food Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: The hon. Lady makes reference to media speculation. I am sure hon. Members will understand that I cannot give a running commentary on our discussions on a future trade agreement or comment on such media speculation, but I will say that there are many ways, through a trade deal, that a country can agree with another country how to protect food standards—both food safety and animal welfare.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dual Tariff Proposals: British Food Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: The International Trade Secretary and I are both absolutely committed to delivering our manifesto commitments, but we also have a manifesto commitment to expand the number of free trade agreements that we have, and it is also the case that the UK farming industry has offensive interests, particularly in dairy and in meat such as pork, lamb and beef, in other countries, particularly Asian...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dual Tariff Proposals: British Food Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: I pay tribute to all those working in our food sector, including in manufacturing, who have worked very hard to keep food on our plates during these difficult times. The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. We have heard now of three outbreaks linked to meat plants. They have been picked up through the testing and tracing approach that has been adopted and we are reviewing the guidance....
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Dual Tariff Proposals: British Food Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: As part of our agreement to leave the European Union, we have been working for a couple of years now jointly with the European Union on splitting the World Trade Organisation schedule, including what is called the aggregate market support boxes—the so-called green boxes and amber boxes—and the UK will have an appropriate share of that green box support in the WTO.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Animal Welfare Standards (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: My hon. Friend raises an important point. The Government have made available £16 million to partners such as FareShare to ensure that we can get food to thousands of food charities across the country to support those in need. In addition, we have been looking at other ways in which we can support those who are financially vulnerable at this difficult time.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: British Food Producers (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: We are promoting British food and drink producers at home and abroad. Just this week, we announced a package of trade and investment measures to help food and drink businesses grow their overseas trade, which includes reinforcing DEFRA’s Food is GREAT campaign and promoting 50 food and drink export champions. We are also supporting domestic campaigns such as the Agriculture and Horticulture...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: British Food Producers (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. His part of Cheshire is famous for its food, particularly its cheese, but also salt and new potatoes. Many parts of our country are renowned for their high-quality local produce, and we want to support farmers to promote that and add value.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: British Food Producers (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: I agree with the hon. Gentleman that this country has built a proud record based on the quality of our food and food provenance in particular, and we will maintain that. On the specific point that he raises about outbreaks of coronavirus at three meat plants, we are looking at that and have been investigating the causes of it. We suspect, as I said earlier, that it is linked either to shared...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: The coronavirus has created many challenges for our country, and the response of our key workers throughout the epidemic has been quite extraordinary. As we take the next steps closer to normality, I would like to take this opportunity to record our thanks to all those working in the food supply chain for the phenomenal way they have responded. From farmers to food manufacturers, and from...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: This week, we announced new measures on exports, with export champions to lead the way in opening new markets and to get more of our fantastic food and produce in those overseas markets. I have in recent years attended exhibitions such as Gulfood in the Gulf, where there are indeed many opportunities, particularly for our lamb sector.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: The reason that we have not yet had that summit is quite simple: it is that the coronavirus outbreak has taken up quite a lot of our time and obviously made it very difficult to physically travel to areas. I think it would be better to have a summit such as that physically in the location, rather than it being yet another Zoom meeting. However, I can give the hon. Lady a guarantee that that...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: We are aware that animal welfare charities have suffered from a fall in donations and have had to close during the coronavirus epidemic. There was an application that was considered as part of a charities fund, but we will continue to work with those groups to identify the support that they need.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: As I explained earlier, in any trade negotiation it will be for the UK to determine what goes into the so-called sanitary and phytosanitary chapter, which addresses these issues. As I also pointed out, there is currently a prohibition on the sale of any poultry treated with a chlorine wash.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: Very early in this crisis, we worked with Public Health England on guidance for these plants. It included, in some cases, spacing out staff on the production line to maintain a distance of 2 metres, and, where that was not possible, ensuring that things were arranged so that staff were facing away from one another. It also involved increased hygiene, new measures on canteens and guidance on...
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: We in this country have built a very sophisticated and valuable market based on the safety of our food, the standards of our food and our high animal welfare standards. We have committed in our manifesto to maintaining those.
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (25 Jun 2020)
    George Eustice: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. Food labelling can improve transparency, particularly in the retail sector, but of course there are limitations in that around 50% of food goes into the food services sector. That is why we will be addressing these matters in our trade agreements.