46 South West Tory MPs vote to undermine local dairy farming
46 South West Tory MPs last night voted against maintaining Britain’s world-leading food standards, opening the door to low-quality imports from abroad and threatening the viability of jobs in our farming sector.
Conservative MPs were told by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to vote against a Lords amendment that would have created legal safeguards for British farming, despite pledging in last year’s manifesto to protect our high food standards, animal welfare and the environment. Of the South West’s 48 Conservative MPs, just 2 (Neil Parish and Simon Hoare) voted for the Lords amendment.
Dairy farming and other types of agriculture supports 66,000 jobs in the South West and produces £4 billion in income for the region each year, but analysts have warned that abandoning existing environmental, health and animal welfare standards could risk the viability of the sector.
Labour has joined the National Farmers’ Union, leading environmental organisations such as the RSPCA and National Trust, and celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Joe Wicks to fight this threat to British agriculture, with the party’s MPs last night voting to safeguard farming jobs and livelihoods.
Labour’s Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Luke Pollard MP commented:
“It is a disgrace that the South West’s Tory MPs have broken their promise to British farmers and the public.
“Dairy farming and other types of agriculture are vital to the economy of the South West, but allowing low-quality imports to flood our market could drive British farmers out of business.
“The Government needs to abandon this disastrous course and provide cast-iron guarantees that they’ll never allow trade deals with the US or anywhere else to undermine the viability of British farming.”