I AM encouraged to read (Craven Herald, November 5) that Julian Smith MP "welcomes the Government's decision to put into law a system that means each new free trade deal will be scrutinised by Parliament for its impact on animal welfare and British farming before it is ratified' ...(a) step which, he claims, "

"demonstrates that the government shares his determination to ensure all future trade agreements will deliver benefits for regional farmers and food producers".

What he does not explain is why as recently as October 12 he voted against this proposal, and not for the first time.

What was it changed his mind? Presumably not the NFU petition which as long ago as June had gathered a million signatures? Perhaps he was persuaded by those Conservative MPs from farming constituencies who did see the need for this safeguard and were prepared to break ranks and vote accordingly?

Or was it the lobbying by celebrities like Jamie Oliver, Prue Leith and Joe Wicks? Or the contents of his own postbag?

It is not only our farmers who should be grateful for this outcome, but in these circumstances, for our MP to try and take some of the credit is a bit rich.

Jim Hope

East Marton