‘Rethink’ palm oil policy after Brexit, Malaysia tells UK

The Malaysian government has urged the UK to “shed European red tape and protectionism”, offering the UK improved market access after Brexit in exchange for a “fresh attitude toward palm oil”, despite campaigners raising serious concerns over its environmental impact.

The Malaysian prime minister’s office urged the UK to ditch EU restrictions on using palm oil in biofuels classed as renewable, in an opinion piece published in Bloomberg this week. The European Commission has said the restrictions were introduced on environmental grounds, given large areas of forest are cleared across South East Asia to make room for palm oil plantations. 

However, in the article the Malaysian government said the EU’s stance is simply to “protect the agricultural industries of a few EU states”.

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