Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton has explained the amendment that he wanted made to the Agriculture Bill.

The Agriculture Bill passed into law on Wednesday, November 11.

Neil said: "My amendment sought to put, in legislation, a guarantee that all imported food would be produced to equivalent high standards to those we have here in Great Britain.

"This was rejected for various reasons by the government, though I still maintain it could have been done.

"Instead, we now have a compromise solution where the Agriculture Bill has been amended to ensure a report on the impact of new trade deals on the maintenance of standards is laid before Parliament.

"The Trade and Agriculture Commission will produce those reports. The Commission is independent of government and it is chaired by Tim Smith (ex-head of the Food Standards Agency and Tesco Group Quality Director).

"I can assure you he is no shrinking violet, and nor am I.

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"Now this commission has been put on a statutory footing, with a remit to report on each new trade deal, I pledge to give as much oxygen to the commission’s findings as physically possible.

"As Conservatives, we all proudly stood on a manifesto that said: “in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”.

"Conservative MPs in the west country, including Secretary of State George Eustice (who helped get that vital commitment in our manifesto), care deeply about our farmers and the high standards we produce to.

"As Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, and a former farmer, I can tell you we are in a much better place.

"There will clearly be more competition outside the EU.

"What my colleagues and I need to ensure is we get fair trade, not just free trade."