Jamie Oliver calls for greater scrutiny of post-Brexit trade deals in row over chlorinated chicken

Jamie Oliver on stage at the WE Day UK charity event and concert held at The SSE Arena, Arena Square

Jamie Oliver on stage at the WE Day UK charity event and concert held at The SSE Arena, Arena Square, London. - Credit: PA

Jamie Oliver has called on the government to respect the sovereignty of parliament and abandon any plans to water down Britain's food standards via secondary legislation.

Oliver, who owned his own chain of restaurants and has his own cooking show, said he staunchly opposed to the use of secondary legislation to bypass parliamentary scrutiny and that could lead to a lowering of Britain's food standards after Brexit.

Speaking with the BBC, he said: "I don't like the smell of it.

"We're really not asking for anything new. It is very normal for changes in law to go through parliament.

"That structure was put in there a long time ago to debate and interrogate and be as transparent as possible about what's going on."

The celebrity chef said the government "disarming" the public by saying "all the right things".

"I believe they're being shut up by being disarmed," he added.

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"And secondary legislation will allow them to do what they want when they want without the scrutiny, that our constitution, our government, our democracy, always commands.

"It's a backdoor. I don't like it."

The government has promised it will not sign the UK up to any future trade deals that would lower British food and farming standards once it leaves the EU single market and customs union on January 1.

Trade secretary Liz Truss echoed those sentiments in the Commons on Thursday explaining the government was "absolutely clear" that it was going to stand up for Britain's standards in any post-Brexit trade pact.

MORE: Liz Truss in Commons gaffe after saying Brexit deals will 'undermine' British farmers

Oliver's comment came as a survey showed that nearly nine in ten Britons (88%) said that the UK should not allow hormone treated beef into the UK.

Three quarters (75%) said the same about chlorinated chicken, while over half (59%) wished to maintain the ban on GM crops.

@dunlin57 tweeted: "Thank you @jamieoliver you are absolutely right, it stinks."

Another used added: "Good man Jamie. Stick it to them. At least you won't undermine our farmers."

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