Gedling MP Tom Randall has revealed why he voted against an amendment to an Agriculture Bill – which critics are saying would have protected food standards in the UK following Brexit.
The Government bill came back before MPs on Monday with amendments which had been made by the House of Lords.
A condition was included that was designed to ensure that food imported into the UK would also have to meet the standards applied to food produced in the UK following Brexit.
However the amendment was voted down with Gedling MP Tom Randall being one of the Conservative MPs voting against it.
Many have now voiced their concerns saying that the move will lead to poor standard food coming into the UK and also affect the livelihoods of farmers in the UK who have to meet the high standards in place.
Critics are saying that this could lead to lower quality meat products coming into the UK – such as chlorinated chicken – including those which are currently not allowed due to standards set by the EU.
But Mr Randall has responded saying that the necessary safeguards will still be in place to ensure food quality.
He told Gedling Eye: “The manifesto I stood on was clear that in all trade negotiations, our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards will not be compromised. The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any deals live up to the values of our farmers and consumers.”
“I am pleased that all food coming into this country will be required to meet existing import requirements. The EU Withdrawal Act transfers all existing EU food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, onto the UK statute book. These import standards include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in domestic and imported products and set out that no products, other than potable water, are approved to decontaminate poultry carcasses. Any changes to existing food safety legislation would require new legislation to be brought before Parliament.
The overwhelming weight of political opinion is against us lowering our standards. We need to keep the same high standards on food and agriculture imports as we had in the EU. And that is exactly what the Government is doing.”