Last Updated on March 21, 2018 by Kirsty Smithson
Some MP’s have warned that a post brexit trade deal with the US could potentially spell trouble for the UK.
There are fears that products containing asbestos could be shipped into the country.
Unlike the UK, asbestos hasn’t been banned as of yet in the US.
Britain banned both the importation and sale of products containing asbestos in the year 1999.
MP’s are concerned that a Brexit trade deal with the US could see the UK lowering standards and allowing asbestos containing materials in to the country.
America still use products like car parts and roofing materials that contain up to 1 per cent asbestos, which is where the concern stems from.
Apparently, Theresa May is desperate to sign a trade deal with the US.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party co-leader, commented, “We all know Donald Trump does not take prisoners when it comes to trade deals. If he decides that asbestos-contaminated products must be included in a deal, he will not give way.”
“US asbestos use has fallen dramatically, but there is still no national ban, and any asbestos poses a threat to human health.”
Before the UK ban on asbestos in 1999, it was used extensively in building.
As such, Britain has a high death rate from mesothelioma cancer, which is directly related to asbestos exposure.
However, over in the US, some products that contain asbestos are allowed to be used.
The US still imports asbestos containing materials also.
If the UK does a brexit trade deal with the US, any products that fall below EU standards could create complications with the rest of Europe.
SNP chair of the International Trade Committee, Angus MacNeil said, “To have a trade deal, if these parts were to be included, would expose us to further doors slammed shut from Europe.”
“Over and above the immediate health aspects, to have a door further slammed shut from Europe would be highly counterproductive.”
“If there are things being used in the UK that are not compliant with European standards, that will cause loads of border checks, loads of slowing up and loads of problems.”
“These are the trade deals of political dreamers, as opposed to the trade deals of practical traders.”
However, fears of standards and protections being watered down have been addressed by the Government.
They insist that leaving the EU will not change anything and standards will be kept high.
A spokesperson for the Department for International Trade (DIT) said, “While we are committed to a mutually beneficial economic trading arrangement with the US, we have been clear that the UK will maintain its own high goods and consumer protection standards in future free trade agreements.”
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Published Mar 21, 2018