Forty six of the East of England 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 poultry 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.
Poultry farming and other types of agriculture support 40,600 jobs in East of England and produce £3.2 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.
Daniel Zeichner MP for Cambridge and Labour’s Shadow Farming Minister commented:
“It is a disgrace that so many of the Region’s Tory MPs have broken their promise to British farmers and the public.
“Poultry farming and other types of agriculture are vital to the economy of the East of England, 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.”