More criticism has been levelled at the trade deal agreed with New Zealand on Wednesday (October 20).

Sheep farmers are disappointed in the free trade deal agreed by the Prime Minister with New Zealand earlier this week.

They say that it amounts to the 'wind down' of the UK livestock sector.

Meanwhile in the Commons yesterday, shadow trade secretary Emily Thornberry branded it a 'bad deal' for the UK's farmers.

The NFU has said that it is "very, very difficult for the NFU to show any support" for the deal pitched by the UK government as a "boost" to British exporters as both countries "ditch tariffs and cut red tape".

It says that UK farmers will now face "significant extra volumes of imported food - whether or not produced to our own high standards - while securing almost nothing in return for UK farmers."

The National Sheep Association (NSA) says that it is deeply disappointed, pointing out that the deal gives New Zealand the go ahead to export an additional 35,000 tonnes of sheep meat during the first four years of the agreement, and a further 50,000 tonnes from year five.

This is in addition to the existing tariff-rate quota (TRQ) held as part of the WTO agreement that already allows New Zealand to export 114,000 tonnes to the UK each year.

The new agreement will see all quotas removed by year 15 - meaning New Zealand will have tariff and duty free access for unlimited supplies of sheep meat product to be exported to the UK.

READ MORE: Trade deal with New Zealand "very, very difficult to support" say UK farmers

Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, said: “For all the warm words we’ve heard from our government, this news is highly disappointing, even though I’d say it’s no surprise.

"You only have to see the statements being made by the red meat sector in New Zealand for evidence they intend to send more and more sheep meat in our direction, and this in addition to the increase in access by Australia means together, in just over a decade, these two countries will have access to our entire volume of lamb consumption.

“Although the government has long made its intentions clear over trade liberalisation the one thing they have promised us is protection of the high standards of production, environmental protection and animal welfare that British farmers adhere to.

"But here, in the agreement in principle, in black and white, the get out clause is clear for all to see – recognition that New Zealand and the UK’s farming systems are different but provide comparable outcomes.

“The worry continues that government is content to wind down livestock farming in the UK, to fulfil climate commitments and grand images of high standards – and then scour the world to feed our nation from sources that are out of sight."

Emily Thornberry told MPs: “According to the government’s own forecast, this deal will lead to reductions in growth and jobs in the UK farming sector because, as the scoping paper says, and I quote, ‘New Zealand’s producers may be able to supply UK retailers at lower cost relative to domestic producers’.

“For all practical purposes, what this deal therefore gives us is unlimited tariff-free trade from New Zealand to go with unlimited tariff-free trade already agreed with Australia.

“And not just that, but we are eliminating the tariffs on dozens of products from Australia and New Zealand which fall well short of our domestic welfare standards.

"Our domestic restrictions on antibiotics whose production is doing huge damage to the environment.

“These are bad deals for our farming industry, they will undermine the competitiveness of our farmers and the standards that they are required to maintain."

In announcing the trade deal, Boris Johnson said: "It will benefit businesses and consumers across the country, cutting costs for exporters and opening up access for our workers."