The unfolding saga of horsemeat found in beef products in the UK shows what a mess the single market is leaving Britain in, argues UKIP.
Stuart Agnew MEP, UKIP Spokesman on agriculture and a long-time farmer himself, said: “This is quite simply the product of the Single Market, that just a few weeks ago in his Europe speech David Cameron was championing.
“In some of these cases we have up to five different countries involved in the supply chain. It really does raise the question of what we are eating, and how safe it is.
“Under EU regulation, products and services can cross over borders with little monitoring. The single market actually makes it illegal for the UK to ban the importation of a product from anywhere within the EU, and only Brussels can effect a block on the grounds of food safety. What we have is a market place where anything can come from anywhere, and often does, without proper controls. It creates a huge risk to food security and undermines national self-sufficiency.
"Outsourcing provenance and processing on this scale opens up the supply chain to corruption and criminality. Yet worse still is the risk that eventually this will result in a serious hazard to human health.
“Top chefs have been saying for years that we should buy seasonally and locally, but the EU Single Market makes it a struggle for a lot of people to even buy British. The food chain is dominated by supermarkets and large manufacturers trying to make the process as cheap as possible.
“The only people now who can control and regulate the food chain is the European Commission. It is out of Britain’s hands.
"I predict that in order to protect the Single Market, Brussels will simply throw more legislation at the problem, rather than concluding that the best way of stopping this from happening in the future is to repatriate agricultural policy.
“The horse meat saga is set to become the next big public campaign after fish discards and once again demonstrates the complex mess being part of the single market creates.”