Shadow Farming Minister Daniel Zeichner has admitted the Labour Party will find it ‘tough’ to change farm and trade policy while the Conservatives have such a big majority.
Mr Zeichner pointed out the opposition was winning key votes in the House of Lords, but warned real progress could only be made if some Conservative MPs were willing to rebel.
Speaking during a Fabian Society fringe event at the online Labour conference last week (September 21), he said: “There are many Conservative MPs who are deeply troubled, particularly around the food standards issue.
“What Labour has got to do is make constructive criticism, win allies where we can and win battles where we can, but most of all, put ourselves in a position where we are competitive for the next General Election.
“In the meantime, it is tough, but we will continue to do everything we can to hold the Government to account.”
At a separate NFU fringe event, Shadow Defra Secretary Luke Pollard said the NFU would need to put pressure on Conservative MPs to vote in favour of Agriculture Bill amendments which are likely to pass in the House of Lords when they return to the Commons, including one to beef up the Trade and Agriculture Commission.
“The compromise the NFU got was a first step,” Mr Pollard said.
“If you can get a second and a third to strengthen that commission, to make sure it properly scrutinises all trade deals to make sure our British farmers will not be undercut, that is a moment we have got to use.”