The leader of the Liberal Democrat party was in St Albans on Tuesday to speak to farmers and retailers who face uncertainty with Brexit looming.

Sir Vince Cable met farmers, retailers, local producers and representatives of the National Farmers Union to talk about the protection of our food standards in the event the UK leaves the EU.

Sir Vince was joined by St Albans’ Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Daisy Cooper for the visit to Smallford-based Glinwell PLC – one of the UK’s largest fresh produce companies.

The Lib Dem leader said: “There are many aspects of farming, from food production and supply to labour, which will be seriously affected if the UK leaves the EU and in so doing will sever ties with the regulatory bodies responsible for maintaining food standards.

“Quite frankly, the Conservative Government has no real plans to replace or replicate this regulation. Ministers have also refused to guarantee that the same high standards we currently enjoy will also apply to imported food. This could undercut farmers and drive them out of business.”

Ms Cooper added: “Britain has some of the highest food standards in the world, but Brexit poses a major threat. Nobody wants chlorinated chicken, hormone-fed beef, or the associated animal welfare and public health concerns.

“This Conservative Government is cosying up to Trump and sending a message that British farming and food standards will be the sacrificial lamb to get a US trade deal. This is unacceptable to the public and unacceptable to the Liberal Democrats.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Joe Colletti, Director, Glinwell Plc; Sir Vince Cable; Daisy Cooper and Cllr Barbara Gibson (Lib Dem PPC for Welwyn Hatfield) Photo: John Cobb

Lea Valley Growers’ Association secretary, Lee Stiles, said: “A shortage of workers and uncertainty surrounding Brexit is posing a serious challenge to British food production, the government needs to recognise that British horticulture is a successful, thriving sector that is capable of producing more great, healthy British fruit and vegetables for people to eat if it is supported by policy makers.”