However Ms Truss insisted that she would not preside over a trade deal that worsened the UK’s obesity endemic.  

“When we are negotiating our trade agreements we are not going to be changing UK food standards, which dictates how much fat there is in baby milk and other rules and regulations,” she said.

“These are domestic issues. We need to focus on domestic regulation and how we encourage people to take responsibility for their diet, encourage more people to cook from home, how do we help children grow up understanding food; those are the things that are really going to change our food culture in this country, and I feel it’s a displacement issue going on.”

Ms Truss added that it was not a case of dismissing the UK’s obesity problem by saying: “Oh, it’s the fault of the Americans, the fault of whoever else we might be striking a trade deal with.”

Mr Dimbleby added that one way to ensure obesity was factored into trade deals was to  “have a health expert on the Agriculture Trade Commission”.

He said that such a figure could be dedicated to “thinking about that angle”.

“If it is the case that that was an impact connected to the trade deal then the nation should be worried about it,” he said. “Our diet is already one of the worst in the world and we don’t want to make it any worse.”

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