“The bakers used a lot of soya sauce in the first challenge on #GBBO, so it's a good thing it will be made cheaper thanks to our trade deal with Japan”

Department for International Trade, Twitter

October 27, 2020

Facts

The Department for International Trade tweeted “The bakers used a lot of soya sauce in the first challenge on #GBBO, so it's a good thing it will be made cheaper thanks to our trade deal with Japan”.

However, the EU at that point had a 0% tariff on imports of soy sauce with Japan. This means that Britain leaving this arrangement and signing their own deal cannot make imports any cheaper.

Furthermore, much of the UK’s soy sauce is actually imported from the Netherlands.

To its credit, the department later issued a correction, saying: “To clarify: thanks to the UK-Japan trade deal, soya sauce will be cheaper than it otherwise would be under WTO terms, on which we would be trading with Japan from 1 Jan if we had not secured the UK-Japan trade deal.”

Verdict

This claim that soy sauce would be cheaper as a result of the trade deal with Japan was false. Though the Department of International Trade’s correction was welcome, it is troubling that the false statement was put out in the first place. Civil servants have a duty to be politically impartial. The initial misleading statement served the political narrative of the Johnson government.

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