Environment secretary’s pledge follows fears over imports of chlorinated chicken.

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, is to pledge that British food standards will not be lowered “in pursuit of trade deals”.

In an address to the National Farmers’ Union annual conference on Tuesday he is expected to also vow to minimise the risk that food producers will be left at “competitive disadvantage” in the face of cheaper imports that are below EU standards.

His words follow a recent warning from senior figures in the US that if the UK chooses after Brexit to adhere to EU regulations, which ban chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef, then trade talks will be difficult.

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