Keir Starmer – 2020 Letter on British Farming to Boris Johnson

The letter sent from Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, to Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, on 7 October 2020.

I want our country to produce the best food in the world, where our farmers compete on the basis of quality and are not undermined by producers working to lower standards elsewhere. Britain should be a beacon of quality, high standards, ethical treatment of animals and environmental protections in all aspects of food production.”

Conservative MPs have until now voted down Labour’s attempts to use the Agriculture Bill or the Trade Bill to enshrine in law the UK’s high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. The next opportunity for change will come when the Agriculture Bill returns to the Commons next week.

Labour also wants the new Trade and Agriculture Commission – set up in the wake of the NFU’s million-strong petition – to have the teeth to assess each trade deal against core standards and ensure proper Parliamentary oversight, as called for in the Government’s own National Food Strategy.