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Medway Liberal Democrats say 'Tories have betrayed their promise to protect Kent farmers'

November 5, 2020 2:06 PM
By Alan Wells

Alan Bullion

Medway Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservatives' "reckless" attitude to animal welfare and food standards, following votes on the Agriculture Bill in the House of Commons.

Conservative MPs voted down Amendment 16B, added to the Bill in the House of Lords, which would have forced the UK Government to ensure that British food and animal welfare standards are maintained in any trade deals.

Liberal Democrats argue that the Government's actions risk seeing the UK flooded with poor quality food if Ministers "slash standards in a bid to secure new trade deals." According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), over a million people have also signed their petition calling for the UK Government to put laws in place that prevent imports of food that is produced in ways that are illegal here in the UK.

Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron said: "The Conservatives promised to protect British farmers, but their reckless action today means they have betrayed that promise. We now risk seeing food that is currently illegal in the UK - like hormone treated beef and fruit and vegetables produced using banned pesticide - make it onto our supermarket shelves, as the Government will be free to slash standards in a bid to secure new trade deals.

"But it doesn't need to be this way. Unlike the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats back British farming. We want the Government to work in partnership with UK farmers to protect our world-class food and animal welfare standards, cut greenhouse gas emissions and support the recovery of our natural environment."

Dr Alan Bulllion, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Gillingham and Rainham said "Tory MPs have once again shown that they are not prepared to act in the interests of British consumers and farmers. I am calling on Parliament to protect our high UK food standards on animal welfare and the environment by backing moves by the House of Lords to amend the agricultural bill. As an agricultural policy expert I am concerned that we may otherwise see imports that come from deforested land that is leading to increased harmful greenhouse gas emissions, instead of supporting our local farmers and food producers'.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Details of Amendment 16B are available here

For further information about this item please contact

E: alan.bullion@ihsmarkit.com M: 07766968820