I believe that a totally protectionist approach is the wrong one for the success of our agricultural industry in the long term. We have a huge opportunity available to us. This amendment would constrain our agricultural food sector’s ability to grow, expand and meet the new export opportunities that will come from our country setting out on the world stage and negotiating new trade deals, which we should be bold and optimistic about for our UK farming sector—for example, expanding whisky exports to Canada, potato exports to Egypt and milk exports to Algeria. I am proud to say that British beef is back on US menus for the first time in more than 20 years, and that market opportunity needs to be explored.
Of course, this is not all about export. What about our domestic market? To provide some reassurance to our UK farmers, the existing protections will remain. Food coming into this country will need to meet existing import requirements, as the EU withdrawal Act will transfer all existing EU food safety provisions to the UK statute book. We have a great opportunity, but I believe that stronger labelling and a beefed-up Trade and Agriculture Commission will help, and I am sad to see that Lords amendment 18 is not coming to the House.