The UK`s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union includes the controversial Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).
Put simply, SPS measures are regulations put in place to ensure that food and other products entering a country do not pose a threat to human, animal, or plant health. They cover everything from disease control to pesticide residues and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The UK`s SPS agreement with the EU is seen as particularly important as it means that the UK will continue to follow EU regulations when it comes to food standards and animal welfare. This should reassure consumers that the food they are buying is of a high standard and has been produced to ethical and safe standards.
However, some critics have argued that the SPS agreement could be used as a way for the EU to exert control over the UK`s food standards. They worry that the EU could use threats of trade barriers to force the UK to adopt EU standards, even if they are not in the best interests of UK consumers.
On the other hand, supporters of the SPS agreement argue that it will help to ensure a level playing field for UK exporters, as they will be subject to the same regulations as their EU counterparts. This should make it easier for UK businesses to export their products to the EU, which is an important market for many UK industries.
Overall, the SPS agreement is a crucial part of the UK`s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. While there are concerns about its potential impact on UK food standards, it should help to ensure that UK products are produced to high and ethical standards, which should benefit both UK consumers and businesses.