The CPTPP trade deal makes no sense for farmers, the environment or the planet – letter to the editor

The CPTPP Pacific Trade Deal is throwing the environment and British farming under the bus in a desperate bid to justify Brexit, argues Simon Oldridge.

I just listened to my MP, Anthony Mangnall, singing the praises of the Trans-Pacific trade deal (CPTPP) without a single mention of environment or climate in the entire 35 minute podcast. Here’s what wasn’t said:

This deal threatens our farmers. Many of the CPTPP countries have much lower welfare and food standards, and use far more pesticides.

We need more national food self-sufficiency, with global crop yields under threat from climate change – and that means supporting British farming not pulling the rug out from under it.

This deal allows foreign companies to sue the British Government, stopping us from being able to protect our own environment and support our farmers. After years of Brexit, how on earth can Mr Mangnall contemplate giving away so much sovereignty? 

How can we justify switching from local trade with Europe to sending vast container ships halfway around the world – with more CO2 emissions and pollutants? We already face a herculean challenge in decarbonising shipping.  

Global shipping trebled from 1992 to just 2013. It’s taking a terrible toll on precious marine life like whales and dolphins, keystone species that help lock away carbon. These beautiful creatures are suffering direct hits as well as torment and injury from continual, damaging noise levels. Populations are being decimated.

Enough of Boris’s ridiculous confected disputes with the EU and all the damage he’s doing to Britain’s reputation. It’s time to put country and environment first, swallow some pride, and negotiate a closer trading relationship with our neighbours.

Simon Oldridge,

Totnes, Devon