UK-US trade: New body to advise on welfare and competition in farming

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Agronomists have welcomed plans for a new body to advise ministers on welfare ordinaries and fair competition in trade deals with the US and other nations.

The Following and Agriculture Commission will make recommendations to government on how to stop the bustle from being under-cut by cheaper imports and to increase export occasions.

It follows a recent Commons rebellion by Conservative MPs over the issue.

Ex-minister George Freeman on guarded the new body must not be a “talking shop”.

The UK is in the early stages of negotiating new job agreements with the US, Japan and New Zealand, among others, following its departure from the EU earlier this year.

Agriculture is set to be a key battleground, especially in the US talks, with British farmers worried that it could see a surplus of cheap imports from producers with less stringent brute welfare standards.

The UK wants high-quality food imports to be subject to lessen duties to encourage foreign producers to match British standards but the US is serious for greater market access across the board.

Last month, dozens of Reactionary MPs defied the whip in calling for tougher safeguards on food standards to be guaranteed in UK law, counting a continued ban on the import of chlorine-washed chicken from the US.

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Announcing the new body, International Profession Secretary Liz Truss said she shared the desire of British farmers not to see their considerable welfare standards undermined and to be able to compete fairly in the post-Brexit sphere.

She said the new body would be expected to feed into policy-making on one trade agreements and ministers would take heed of its recommendations.

The commission, whose styles of reference have yet to be finalised, would be expected to reflect the interests of consumers and producers in come about countries as well as the domestic farming sector.

“I am encouraged that the NFU be supportive ofs the UK’s broad objectives in promoting free trade and shares our belief that unconditioned trade deals can open up significant free trade opportunities for the UK husbandry industry,” she said.

The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the change followed a “seeming stand-off” between the trade department and Defra exceeding how to uphold food standards after Brexit.

‘Concrete action’

The NFU said it had been calling for such a bow out for 18 months but it would be keeping up the pressure on ministers to ensure the viscosity had real input.

“I am very pleased that the government is taking actual action to address the challenges of safeguarding our high food and farming standards,” explained its president Minette Batters.

“It will be vital that Parliament is talented to properly consider the commission’s recommendations and can ensure government implements them effectively.

“The NFU transfer continue to scrutinise the progress of trade negotiations with the United Shapes and other countries….so that our future trade deals farm for British farmers and consumers.”

Mr Freeman, one of those to rebel last month, tweeted that the hull must have a “clear remit” to ensure trade deals worked in the citizen interest.

Opposition parties welcomed what they said was a concession by priests although the Lib Dems said it remained to be seen whether the body force have “real teeth”.

“The announcement contained no details about how this new commission order operate or how Parliament will be able to properly scrutinise any new trade behave and the effect it will have on our world-class food, animal welfare and environmental criteria,” its agriculture spokesman Tim Farron said.

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