Moved by Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville
At end insert “and do propose Amendment 18H as an amendment to Amendment 18C—
18H: In subsection (2) leave out “explain whether, or to what extent, the measures referred to in subsection (1) are consistent with the maintenance of” and insert “confirm that any agricultural or food product imported into the United Kingdom under the agreement will have been produced or processed according to standards which, on the date of importation, are equivalent to or exceed””
My Lords, I am very grateful to the Minister for his response and for his many comments. I do agree that the Bill is in a much better state than it was when it came to us. The Government have made very significant amendments and I congratulate the Minister as well as the NFU and Minette Batters on the work that they have done to improve the Bill and food standards.
However, the point has already been made that we have not seen the amendments in the Trade Bill, and there needs to be a very close tie-in between the Agriculture Bill and the Trade Bill; the two Bills should complement each other. I have to say that, before we sign off the Agriculture Bill, it would be really helpful if we could see the amendment that is to be tabled in the Trade Bill.
I thank the Minister for his comments on equivalence, and I support trade with developing countries, but we need to make absolutely certain that that will not be at the expense of our own farmers, many of whom do not have large incomes but live on the breadline. We do need to get this Bill on the statute book as soon as possible; nevertheless, I am very concerned about the effect on some of our farmers and I would like to test the opinion of the House.
Ayes 130, Noes 290.