LLANELLI MP, Nia Griffith, has criticised the Tory UK Government for failing to protect high UK animal welfare, environment and public health standards in food production and for putting the livelihoods of local farmers and food producers at risk.
In an important day for British food standards, MPs voted on whether to accept a Labour amendment made to the Government’s Agriculture Bill which would stop post-Brexit trade deals from allowing in imports of lower standard food to the UK like chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef. The Llanelli MP and her Labour colleagues voted to support the amendment, which would have guaranteed in law measures to prevent any weakening of standards in future post-Brexit trade negotiations. However, the move was defeated by Tory MPs who voted against.
Nia Griffith MP said:
“People in Llanelli are passionate about animal welfare, and they’re rightly worried about what might end up in our supermarkets and on our plates. Nobody wants to see Trumps’ chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef in shops and restaurants in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire or elsewhere in Wales.”
“The Government had a chance to put words into action but voted against putting their own 2019 manifesto commitment into action which is absolutely crazy. Without the necessary legal guarantees in place, our farmers now risk being undercut by food imports produced to lower animal welfare, environmental and food safety standards than those required in the UK.”
The Member of Parliament for Llanelli added that she was now concerned that the UK Government would now be willing to place farmer’s livelihoods at risk as they seek to get trade deals with the US and others.
“I have consistently supported proposals that would have required food imports meet standards at least as high as those required under UK law and that all future trade deals should be open, transparent and subject to scrutiny. Unfortunately, they have all been voted down by the UK Government. I find this very worrying. We cannot trade away our values in pursuit of any trade deal.”
“It is extremely disappointing that given several opportunities to put all of those principles into law, the UK Government has failed to do so. I am deeply concerned that they will now renege on the public statements that they have previously made on these issues, especially with no legal obligations in place to prevent them doing so. There’s still a serious threat that they will drop that promise to get the trade deals they’re so desperate to secure with Donald Trump and others, leaving our farming and food production industries to pick up the pieces.”