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Import of agricultural goods

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 5th March 2020.

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New clause 7—International trade agreements: agricultural and food products—

‘(1) A Minister of the Crown may not lay a copy of an international trade agreement before Parliament under section 20(1) of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 unless the agreement—

(a) includes an affirmation of the United Kingdom’s rights and obligations under the SPS Agreement, and

(b) prohibits the importation into the United Kingdom of agricultural and food products in relation to which the relevant standards are lower than the relevant standards in the United Kingdom.

(2) In subsection (1)—

“international trade agreement” means—

(a) an agreement that is or was notifiable under—

(b) an international agreement that mainly relates to trade, other than an agreement mentioned in sub-paragraph (i) or (ii);

“Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975;

“relevant standards” means standards relating to environmental protection, plant health and animal welfare applying in connection with the production of agricultural and food products;

“SPS Agreement” means the agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, part of Annex 1A to the WTO Agreement (as modified from time to time);

“WTO Agreement” means the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation signed at Marrakesh on 15 April 1994.’

This new clause would ensure that HMG has a duty to protect the quality of the domestic food supply by ensuring that imported foodstuffs are held to the same standards as domestic foodstuffs are held to.