AT THE General Election in 2019, the Conservatives committed to “high standards” for British farming. Therefore, it was a surprise in May that the Government refused to amend the Agriculture Bill that would ensure the environmental protections, food safety regulations and animal welfare laws that would safeguard any future trade deals.

Without protection, all kinds of British food standards are set to be undermined by cheap and nasty foreign imports.

A significant majority of people in Britain do not want food produced to lower standards to be on sale and we have seen several supermarkets committing to not stocking low standard imported food.

Our farmers are now left in a difficult predicament where they either take the moral stance and refuse to slash their own standards, meaning they will potentially get priced out of UK supermarkets by the floods of cheap imports, or they reduce their standards to compete with the low-quality imports, and exclude themselves from the entire EU marketplace!

It is essential that the Trade and Agriculture Commission have the teeth to thoroughly assess each trade deal against core standards, ensuring Parliamentary oversight, as recommend in the Government’s own national food strategy.

This is not only about protecting our local farmers, who have been severely let down by this Government, but also recognising and understanding the detriment to our community too. It is essential we all give our support

Brian McDaid

Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Skipton & Ripon