Motion A2 (as an amendment to Motion A)

Part of Agriculture Bill - Commons Amendments – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 9th November 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:30 pm, 9th November 2020

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.