The House of Lords has voted to ban low-standard food imports under any future trade deals with a majority of 95.
Peers overwhelmingly supported an Agriculture Bill amendment tabled by Labour’s Lord Grantchester, which would require all food imported as part of trade deals to match the UK’s standards.
The amendment also included a requirement for the House of Commons to approve all agri-food chapters in any future trade agreement, and for the House of Lords to debate them.
Speaking during the debate yesterday, Lord Granchester said: “Consumers care about the welfare implications of, for example, US production methods that necessitate that chickens need chlorination to be made safe.
“They do not want chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef to be permitted to be imported and available on supermarket shelves.
“Voters who voted to get Brexit done can be forgiven for thinking that this was going to be enshrined in legislation – after all, it was in the Conservative Party manifesto. Now certainly is the chance to get it done here.”
Another amendment tabled by Lord Curry, setting a legal obligation for the Trade and Agriculture Commission to scrutinise all future trade deals, also passed with a majority of 107.
As things stand, the commission is set to be disbanded after six months.
But a proposed change to the Bill which would have allowed tenants letting under the Agricultural Tenancies Act to object to a landlord’s refusal to enter a farm assistance scheme was defeated after Labour peers abstained.
Tenant Farmers’ Association chief executive George Dunn said on social media that he was ‘very sad’ to see the development, as the party had previously offered its support.
After completing its final stage in the Lords, the Bill will head back to the Commons, where MPs will have the opportunity to uphold or remove the amendments passed by peers.