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Brexit deal ‘not perfect’ but best for British food producers, says Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss

PUBLISHED: 17:50 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 20:02 07 December 2018

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss tries her hand at making black puddings with Matt Cockin as part of her visit to the Fruit pig Company, Wisbech, to make the case for the Brexit deal ahead of the MPs voting on Tuesday. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss tries her hand at making black puddings with Matt Cockin as part of her visit to the Fruit pig Company, Wisbech, to make the case for the Brexit deal ahead of the MPs voting on Tuesday. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss described Theresa May’s Brexit proposal as the “best deal” for British food producers - as she visited a butchery that produces black pudding.

The chief secretary to the treasury is known for championing British produce, famously telling Conservative Party conference delegates: “We import two-thirds of our cheese. That is a disgrace.”

Speaking at the Fruitpig butchery on an industrial estate in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, she insisted the prime minister’s Brexit deal could boost the British food industry.

Before answering questions she tried her hand at making black pudding, using a machine to squeeze a mixture of blood, fat, oats, barley and spices into a casing before proudly posing with the finished product.

She also inspected speciality bacons including pig’s cheek pancetta and a smoked streaky which she sniffed, adding: “Very nice smoky flavour, I like that, yeah.”

After touring the preparation area, she defended the prime minister’s Brexit deal.

Asked if she could assure British food producers it was the best deal for them, she said: “It definitely is the best deal.

“This is a deal that means that we can continue our positive relationship exporting food to Europe but also give us the opportunity to strike more trade deals around the world.

“I know as a former Defra secretary there’s a lot of demand for fantastic British products elsewhere.

“This company is selling to countries like Hong Kong, Macau, and I think there are further opportunities to do that, so it helps protect our existing business but it also opens it up to more new business.”

Ms Truss was among around 30 ministers sent out across the UK on Friday to sell Mrs May’s Brexit deal ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Commons vote.

She refused to speculate on the outcome of the vote, adding: “I think predictions are a mug’s game. What I know though is this deal is, whilst not perfect, a good deal that will deliver Brexit.

“It will deliver the certainty for businesses... and it also does things like end free movement of people and give us power over our own laws.

“So whilst there are issues with it, it’s not perfect, I do think it’s the best deal available.”

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