Palm oil has a dirty secret. It has ruined precious habitats, displaced indigenous people from their homes and put orangutans at grave risk. That's why the EU is taking action and banning it from biofuels by 2030.
Liam Fox could take post-Brexit Britain down a different track. Unimpeded by EU environmental regulations, he could put deforestation back on the agenda in return for trade deals with producer countries.
Malaysia, one of the primary palm oil exporters, has been keen to exploit any new Brexit reality. In June, a Greenpeace investigation found that the Malaysian government was lobbying the UK government on the EU's palm oil ruling and in November last year, their plantations and commodities minister wrote that Brexit could offer a new relationship free from “strong vested interests in Europe” which have “pushed for a more protectionist approach in dealing with palm oil”
Brexit must not be Britain's excuse for harming the environment or the orangutan. The government must enact the ban on palm oils in biofuels, in or out of Europe.