Gareth Morgan, head of farming and land use policy at the Soil Association, has spoken of the charity’s disappointment after MPs voted against enshrining high food safety and animal welfare practices in British law.
The government argued that giving current standards legal status was unnecessary as ministers had already agreed to ensuring that UK food standards would be upheld in any post-Brexit trade agreements. However, critics fear that an agreement without legal binding will allow future imports of sub-standard food that will put consumers at risk and undercut home grown produce.
“We are very disappointed the House of Commons has rejected key amendments on import standards, climate change and pesticides in the Agriculture Bill, that has been proposed by the House of Lords,” says Morgan.
“Putting these protections into law is vital to protect us against trade deals that could lower food production standards, threaten our environmental and climate change commitments, and undercut British farmers.
“We must go further to uphold the UK’s high standards for food and farming. We urge the House of Lords to hold their ground and send the amendments back to the Commons again to give MPs who voted against these changes a chance to rethink.”