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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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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 12:30 pm, 5th March 2020

I thank hon. Members for tabling these new clauses. I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to talk once again about the importance of food standards. The hon. Member for Bristol East will never find me sneering at or questioning the importance of food standards. This is an important debate, and it is right that we have it here, and while considering other Bills, as we move to a new world where we have left the EU and hopefully have free trade agreements with many other countries.

I welcome the opportunity to reiterate the Government’s commitment to not lowering our standards as we negotiate new trade deals. The Prime Minister has consistently stated that we will not compromise our high environmental, food safety or animal welfare standards now that we have left the EU. We made that commitment in our manifesto, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade reaffirmed that commitment to the House earlier this week in respect of a US trade deal.