Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has demanded that the British government ensure special status for South West food and drinks is protected in the Brexit negotiations, including for Cornish pasties, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and West Country lamb and beef.

It comes after the EU set out a position paper calling for protected brands from Europe, such as champagne and parma ham, to be protected in the UK after Brexit.

Vince Cable said: “If European food products are to be protected as part of Brexit negotiations, then it’s absolutely essential that West Country foods and drinks have the same protections from cheap foreign imitations.

“The government isn’t doing enough to guarantee the integrity of brands such as Cornish Pasties or West Country farmhouse cheddar, which provide jobs and make a very significant contribution to the economy across the South West.

“We need to hear more from the government about what they are doing to stand up for the food and drink industry during these negotiations."