AMERICAN demands for the UK to accept chlorinated chicken and use of hormones in food is to “appeal to aspects of the domestic audience” rather than a workable trade negotiation, Michael Gove has claimed.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said calls for the UK to change food standards in post-Brexit trade negotiations with the United States was political posturing.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy Committee, Gove was asked about issues of food hygiene and use of hormone-fed animals following reports that America would want the UK to accept them after leaving the European Union.

Stewart Stevenson MSP asked Gove: “Will we very strongly resist, in any negotiations, the imposition of the kind of ideas the United States is pushing and make sure the jurisdictions across the UK are involved in setting the terms of any debate on this?”

Speaking via video link to Holyrood, Gove said: “I think it’s fair to say that the United States’ initial ask in these trade negotiations is probably more designed to appeal to aspects of the domestic audience in America than it is to work for us.”

He added that it is “absolutely critical” that devolved countries are involved in setting the UK’s negotiating position before trade discussions after Brexit.