The Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have hit out at Fay Jones after she voted against an amendment to protect the UK’s high food and animal welfare standards.
Today was the last chance for MPs to vote on the Agriculture Bill after weeks of ‘ping pong’ back and forth between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Amendment 16B, added to the Bill in the House of Lords, would have forced the UK Government to ensure that British food and animal welfare standards are maintained in any trade deals.
Despite recent concessions from the Conservatives, primarily extending the lifespan of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission, campaigners are concerned these moves do not go far enough and the Government's 80 seat majority makes pledges of further scrutiny toothless.
Liberal Democrat MPs voted in support of the amendment along with colleagues from other parties, including 6 Conservative MPs.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and former MP for Brecon & Radnorshire, said:
“They say a leopard cannot change its spots and today Fay Jones proved that is true. By voting against guaranteeing our food and welfare standards in law she clearly cares more about party loyalty than sticking up for her constituents.
“Farmers across Powys are worried about the future. Passing this amendment would have given them a cast iron guarantee that we are fully behind them, will fight their corner and the UK Government won't seek to slash our standards in order to get a trade deal with the US.
“Instead, they’re left with nothing but warm words and empty promises from a Conservative Government which just last December claimed they had an ‘Oven Ready’ Brexit Deal yet is now championing a damaging no-deal outcome.
“Let’s be clear - a double whammy of no-deal, which would see our ability to trade with Europe subject to tariffs and quotas, and lower food standards, which would see our farmers undercut by cheap foreign produce, would drive many Welsh farmers out of business all together.
“We have an MP who time and time again refuses to take a stand for the communities she claims to represent. This vote is just another stark reminder that Fay Jones will always fight for the Conservatives, not for Powys.”
Are you angry too? Support our campaign to protect our food and animal welfare standards: www.welshlibdems.wales/food-standards