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Import of agricultural goods

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 5th March 2020.

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As my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge has already said, at about the time that the now Secretary of State wrote that article, he also tabled what are now new clauses 33, 34 and 35 to the then Agriculture Bill. Why would he do that? He had made the arguments in public. He did a sterling job trying to defend the Government’s position during the first sitting of the Agriculture Bill. He came across as reasonably sincere, but the moment he had the freedom to say what he really thought, he went to the press and wrote an article in The Guardian outlining clearly and eloquently what his concerns were. He did not seek verbal reassurances from the Government; he sought legislative reassurances. So if it is good enough for the Secretary of State when he is allowed free rein to say what he feels, I am sure the Minister can understand why many of her colleagues on the Conservative Back Benches and Opposition Members also agree with him.