Liberal Democrat MPs have supported amendments to the Trade Bill, aiming to ensure that future trade agreements meet the UK’s high standards of animal welfare. The Conservatives voted to reject these amendments.
Furthermore, the government rejected amendments to strengthen the new Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC), including one requiring the TAC to consider human health, as well as environmental and animal welfare when assessing new trade deals.
By consistently failing to support these measures, the Conservatives risk future trade deals permitting the import of food that fails to meet the UK’s high standards. This puts significant pressure on British farmers.
Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Farming said: “Farmers across the country are worried about their future – they’re worried that the UK will be flooded with poor quality food that undercuts the goods they produce to high environmental and animal welfare standards.
“The Conservatives have continually failed to protect our farmers from these risks. These amendments would have ensured that our farmers are protected and can continue to produce high quality food for our tables. That’s why Liberal Democrats supported them.
“We are already seeing the impact the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is having on the fishing industry and by voting to reject these amendments the Conservatives have shown they are no ally to farmers either.
“Liberal Democrats back British farmers and will continue to fight to protect our food standards and their livelihoods. British farmers have a vital role to play in helping us tackle climate change and protect our natural environment, driving them out of business will be damaging for everyone.”