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Boris Johnson faces a growing Tory rebellion over UK food standards protection


Peer-behind offer to create a new post-Brexit watchdog for agricultural standards to protect against chlorinated chicken vows to continue the campaign after ministers blocked the joint vote

  • The Commons were supposed to vote on an amendment to the Agriculture Act
  • A change would create a watchdog to protect UK farmers and consumers
  • The change was one of the most popular options among rebel Tory MPs
  • But ministers used the technique last used ten years ago to block the vote

The creation of a new watchdog to protect UK farming standards was blocked by the government last night using an obscure technique to deter MPs from voting for it.

Ministers are now facing an escalation of an already heated range as fears that substandard US food will flood the UK in future trade deals.

The Commons was due to vote on an amendment to the Agriculture Act to create the watchdog to protect British farmers and consumers.

The amendment, tabled by the House of Lords last month, was one of the most popular options among rebel Tory MPs who support additional protection that is enshrined in law.

The creation of a new watchdog to protect UK farming standards was blocked by the government last night by using an obscure technique to deter MPs from voting for it. Pictured: Boris Johnson

But ministers used the technique last used ten years ago to block the vote, arguing that it was beyond the lords' powers because it would result in additional public spending.

Kirkharle's crossbench peer Lord Curry, who tabled the amendment and saw it approved in the Lords, told the Independent that the additional cost was "tiny".

Kirkharle's Lord Curry warned Downing Street that he had "not heard the last of it" and vowed to retake the amendment to force a Commons vote

This meant that the spokesman canceled a vote on the amendment. The cross-bench peer who tabled the proposal, Lord Curry of Kirkharle, warned Downing Street that he had "not heard the last of it" and vowed to retake the amendment to force a commons vote.

He told the mail, "I'm not going to let go of it. I'm going to seek more procedural advice today to see what options I have.

"The government could have accelerated this just by accepting this amendment – it was entirely within their power to do so." Agriculture Minister Victoria Prentis asked questions in the lower house last night from angry MPs who are in favor of additional legal guarantees.

They want to stop foods like American chlorine washed chicken and beef from hormone fed cattle from being sold in the UK. Labor environment spokesman Luke Pollard said the government is risking opening a "back door" to bad products.

Those who support the change are trying to prevent foods like American chlorine washed chicken and beef from hormone-fed cattle from being sold in the UK. Labor environment spokesman Luke Pollard said the government is risking opening a "back door" to bad produce (pictured broiler chickens on a commercial poultry farm near Taylorsville, Mississippi).

Those who support the change are trying to prevent foods like American chlorine washed chicken and beef from hormone fed cattle from being sold in the UK. Labor environment spokesman Luke Pollard said the government is risking opening a "back door" to bad produce (pictured broiler chickens on a commercial poultry farm near Taylorsville, Mississippi).

He said: “Do we want to be a nation that shines as a beacon around the world, stands up for our farmers and works for the welfare of animals and the environment? Or do we want to throw it all away, only to get the vague promise of a trade deal that will serve poor quality food to our children and undercut our standards? I don't want the UK to be a country where our farmers are being put out of business and decimating our proud rural tradition.

"If the government is serious about keeping its standard promise, it should translate that guarantee into law."

Tory MP George Freeman said: "It is confusing – and worrying – that trade ministers seem determined to deny Parliament the opportunity to provide adequate legal protection for our farm welfare and environmental standards and fair trade for our farmers to guarantee."

Tory MP George Freeman said: "It is confusing - and worrying - that trade ministers seem determined to deny Parliament the opportunity to provide adequate legal protection for our farm welfare and environmental standards and fair trade for our farmers. "

Tory colleague Steve Brine said people are "suspicious" that ministers are giving trade deals priority over protecting farmers

Tory MP George Freeman (left) said: "It is confusing – and worrying – that trade ministers seem determined to deny Parliament the opportunity to provide our farmers with adequate legal protection for our well-being and environmental standards as well to guarantee fair trade. " Brine (right) said people were "suspicious" that ministers are prioritizing trade deals over protecting farmers

Tory colleague Steve Brine said people are "suspicious" that ministers are giving trade deals priority over protecting farmers. Ms. Prentis insisted that strong safeguards were already in place to protect standards, adding, “We have high standards in this country that we are rightly proud of, and there is no way this government is going to reduce them. Our clear policy is to increase it, especially in the area of ​​animal welfare. "

The National Farmers' Union had urged MPs to endorse Lord Curry's proposal to prevent standards and farmers from being undercut.

The Curry Plan would have kept the current Interim Trade and Agriculture Commission for four years and made it truly independent. His job would have been to advise MEPs on the impact of post-Brexit trade agreements on agricultural and food standards before they were signed.

The bill is due to return to the Lords early next week.

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