Please find some news on the Agriculture Bill that was voted on this week. James Mc Cleary, Leader of Lewes Council would like it known that there is a large farming community locally in Lewes constituency who are unhappy with their MP’s decision not just to vote against the Lords Amendment to protect standards, but to whip others to do the same.
Lewes MP and government whip, Maria Caulfield, has been accused of betraying local farmers after voting to reject a bid to protect food standards after Brexit. Not only did the Brighton-based MP vote against it herself, she used her position as a whip to pressure other Tory MPs to do the same.
The Amendment to the Agriculture Bill would have required any post-Brexit trade deals to meet UK animal welfare and food safety standards.
The Amendment received support from some Conservative MPs who said it was in line with their party’s commitments in the General Election manifesto.
It also received support from Liberal Democrat, Labour, and SNP MPs among others. However, the government still managed to vote it down.
Commenting on the vote Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Lewes, James MacCleary, said: “There’s never been a tougher time to be a farmer, and this latest betrayal shows how little this government cares about British agriculture and food safety.
“All that the Amendment asked was that the government make a firm commitment to upholding food and animal welfare standards in any trade deals after Brexit.
We have some of the highest standards in the world and many of the countries that we will be looking to do deals with post-Brexit have much lower standards allowing them to undercut our farmers.
“This was a chance to back British farmers, instead Maria Caulfield and the Conservatives completely sold them out.”