Agriculture Bill

29th May 2020

The Agriculture Bill and the matter of food standards in this country are two vitally important issues for our area.

That’s why, having had a number of recent meetings and conversations with Ministers to seek reassurances and insist on protections for our high food hygiene welfare standards, I abstained from voting on Clause 2 of the Agriculture Bill to signal that I was not prepared to support the Government on the Bill without the reassurances in writing.

I support free trade and am pleased to see the UK signing trade deals with new countries, but we do also need to make sure we:

1. Secure a trade deal with the EU to ensure continuity of trade and business for UK companies and consumers;

2. Maintain our food, farming and consumer production and import standards;

3. Achieve much better labelling so that all consumers can see the country of origin and standards of production for every product at the point of purchase.

I am 100% opposed to selling out UK farming and food producers on the altar of cheap food from producers of low value and low welfare products around the world.

One of the many lessons and legacies from Covid should be the security of our core supply chains – and the risks to public health from other countries, like China, with dirty “wet markets”.

The post-Covid recovery is no time to abandon our domestic food and farming sector – which is of course especially important to the Mid Norfolk economy.

Rest assured, I will always go on fighting the corner of our local farmers and farming industry – and I will always feed in the views of my constituents on this to the Secretary of State and his Ministers.