The comments made by Emily Thornberry, the Shadow International Trade Secretary, on 7 June 2021.
Last Autumn, MPs had the chance to pass Labour’s amendments to the Trade and Agriculture Bills banning imports of agricultural products that did not meet the UK’s standards on food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection, and would undermine the competitiveness of British farmers.
The Government persuaded their backbenchers not to back those amendments on the basis of a promise that the Trade and Agriculture Commission would do the job instead, and be given the authority to tell Parliament if any future trade deals would be damaging for British farmers.
But now the truth is clear. The Government has misled its own MPs and perpetuated a fraud on Britain’s farming communities. A hugely damaging deal is about to be struck with Australia, and the Commission which was supposed to act as the voice of British farmers will have nothing at all to say.