TWO East Lancashire Euro MPs have clashed over the causes of the horsemeat scandal in Britain.

UKIP’s Paul Nuttall said the European Union was to blame but LibDem Chris Davies argued that national governments had failed to enforce proper standards.

Mr Nuttall said: “Food safety is an EU competence. What the EU has done has shifted responsibility for food safety on to the producers rather than government agencies.

“Food labelling is also an EU competence. We are also labelling it incorrectly so people are eating different food from the one they thought they purchased. In the UK, it is offensive to eat horse.”

Mr Davies said: “All 27 countries within the EU have agreed strict food labelling laws in common, but it is up to national governments to apply them. UKIP may believe that the European Commission possesses a secret army or a police force of its own, but it does not.

“The horsemeat scandal is the result of food manufacturers being defrauded by their suppliers and of national governments not making checks.”