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PM told to come clean over "misleading" UK lamb exports announcement


By David Porter

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The Prime Minister has been challenged over his comments on an export ban being lifted
The Prime Minister has been challenged over his comments on an export ban being lifted

The SNP has challenged Boris Johnson to set the record straight after his announcement during a recent trip that the US had lifted a ban on UK lamb exports was described by his own government officials as being "misleading" and that ban has "not yet been lifted."

Leaked emails from the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) state that the claims are "misleading"; make clear the ban has “not yet been lifted” and that there are “many steps to be taken” before exports could go ahead; set out that there is no “deadline” for lifting the ban and show that the products specified, namely kebabs and koftas, “are extremely unlikely to be initially eligible for exports due to specific ­requirements for such products.”

In a letter to the Prime Minister, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford warned that the news will be "bitterly disappointing for sheep farmers and crofters across Scotland" and that Johnson must now set the record straight.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said: "Boris Johnson claimed during his recent visit - in which no progress was made towards a trade deal - that the US is lifting the ban on imports of 'UK lamb.'

"However, leaked emails from within his own government now appear to blow those remarks out of the water and call out Boris Johnson's comments as 'misleading' and warn that there are 'many steps to be taken' before exports could go ahead.

"This is utterly damning and the Prime Minister now has serious questions to answer.

"Scotland's food and farming sector is paying a heavy price for the Tories' extreme Brexit deal, and the news will be bitterly disappointing for sheep farmers and crofters across Scotland.

"Boris Johnson must now set the record straight and confirm whether these reports are true.

"Are his claims - as government officials say - 'misleading'?

"Has the ban not yet been lifted?".


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