Britain seeking certainty with United States as it Brexits

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Britain seeking certainty with United States as it Brexits

The meeting of the UK-US working group will "provide the mechanism for preparing the ground for a potential free trade agreement", the department said.

The UK set out plans for a "bold and ambitious" post-Brexit free trade agreement in a letter triggering its departure from the European Union in March, but negotiations have since been deadlocked over the size of the UK's checking-out bill and the rights of European Union citizens living in the UK.

Campaign group Open Britain challenged Fox to eat chlorine-washed chicken live on television, after reports said he was "open" to lifting the ban. The political bloc charges significant tariffs on imports from nations outside the union, and a mooted trade deal between Europe and the States that critics saw as being more advantageous to the EU than us has been seen as dead in the water since Trump took the presidency. However, the Remain argument that big countries like America would not want a deal with us and that Britain would find itself at the back of the queue, looks weaker by the day.

"The UK has some of the highest farm animal welfare standards in the world and UK producers are rightly proud of those", said Liberal Democrat peer Lord Teverson, the chairman of the House of Lords' EU energy and environment sub-committee.

Writing in the Observer on Sunday, he warned against striking a quick, comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the US.

Fox was in Washington for talks on post-Brexit trade links with the United States amid concerns that any agreement would open up British markets to USA agricultural products.

During his trip to Washington, Dr Fox said Brexit offered an "unprecedented opportunity" to reshape Britain's trading ambitions. "Would we be able to negotiate our own trade agreements during that transition period?"

He played down critics' fears that British markets could be opened up to United States agricultural products now blocked by European Union food standards rules, including controversial chlorine-washed chicken.

It also claims treated American chicken is more than a fifth cheaper than British meat and would cut United Kingdom prices by 21%.

Gianni Pittella, leader of the socialist group in the European parliament, said: "I'm sure British citizens will be enthusiastic to go from the EU high standard control over chicken and food to the chlorinated, full of hormones, U.S. chicken".

He promised to strike a trade deal with the country, saying: "I can certainly tell you that New Zealand is at or near the very front of the queue".

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