The Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have called on Fay Jones to back Welsh farming and vote to protect our high environmental and animal welfare standards this week.
In a letter to Fay Jones MP Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, and former Brecon & Radnorshire MP, Jane Dodds warned that the Tories must not “risk farmers' livelihoods to win a favourable trade deal from Donald Trump.”
The votes come on Wednesday [04/11/2020] in amendments to the Agriculture Bill. The Liberal Democrats want MPs to ensure any post-Brexit trade deals meet current UK animal welfare and food safety rules.
According to the 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.
Jane Dodds said:
“Time and time again we’ve seen the UK Government refuse to guarantee our food and animal welfare standards. The Conservatives must not risk farmers' livelihoods to win a favourable trade deal from Donald Trump.
“Fay Jones now has one final chance to be on the right side of history. If she is to truly back Welsh farmers, then she must vote to ensure any post-Brexit trade deals meet UK animal welfare and food safety rules.
“If she refuses to do so, and once again falls meekly in line with her party, then she will be letting down thousands of farmers across Brecon & Radnorshire and showing she cares more about party loyalty than standing up for her constituents.”
Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron MP added:
“Farmers across the country are incredibly worried that the UK is about to be flooded with poor quality food undercutting their high quality produce.
“It doesn't need to be this way. Liberal Democrats back British farming and want to work in partnership with our farmers to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, support the recovery of our natural environment all while continuing to produce the food that fills our cupboards.”
A copy of Jane's letter can be found below:
I am writing to urge you to vote on Wednesday in favour of maintaining our high food and animal welfare standards for imported food.
This is the best way to protect Welsh farmers and their livelihoods as this Government has consistently promised to do, but have so far failed to live up to that promise.
Welsh farmers are the lifeblood of our country, they are the guardians of our landscapes, vital partners in the fight against climate change, all while producing the high quality food that fills our cupboards.
However, the Government is happy to risk all that. They’ve rejected several attempts by Parliament to ensure that imported food is produced to the same high standards that our farmers currently strive for. If this doesn’t happen the risk is our farmers are undercut by food produced to standards that simply would not be acceptable in the UK.
It means imported meat being produced using practices that have long been banned in the UK, it means importing food grown on deforested land that used to be a diverse rainforest - this is unacceptable. It is frankly wrong to risk farmers' livelihoods to win a favourable trade deal from Donald Trump.
I therefore urge you to back British farmers by voting to maintain our high standards for imported food when the Agriculture Bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday. If passed it ensures that our farmers can continue to produce the food for your table without worrying that they will be driven out of business by food produced to lower standards.