East Hants MP welcomes news of government trade commission

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Saturday 11th July 2020 10:00 am
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MP Damian Hinds (right) with farmer Richard Buer

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EAST Hampshire MP Damian Hinds has strongly welcomed news that a Trade and Agriculture Commission is to be set up by the government.

The newly-announced commission will consider the policies the government should adopt in free-trade agreements.

These policies will ensure UK farmers do not face unfair competition and will also support high animal welfare and production standards.

It will consider how the UK engages with the World Trade Organisation to build a coalition that helps advance animal welfare standards across the world.

It will also be instrumental in developing trade policies that help to open up export opportunities for the UK agricultural sector.

Mr Hinds said: “I had been calling for the formation of a commission before lockdown, and this is a really important step forward, helping to protect the interests of UK farming as we look to negotiate new free-trade agreements across the world.

“Leaving the EU brings forward new opportunities for our agricultural sector, and we must be ready to take full advantage of that.

“Farming is an important part of our local economy here in East Hampshire, and I know many farmers and members of the public will be pleased to see their concerns addressed in this way.”

National Farmers’ Union group secretary for the Petersfield and Alton and branch, Richard Buer, added: “I am delighted about the announcement that the government has agreed to set up a Trade and Agriculture Commission ensuring they address the challenges of safeguarding our high food and farming standards.

“It is good for farmers, consumers and the environment and is something the National Farmers’ Union first called for more than 18 months ago.

“We have recently amassed a petition signed by more than a million people in support of protecting our very high standards of food production and safety, husbandry and animal welfare against potential trade deals with other countries whose production methods do not always meet our standards.

“Because they do not meet our standards, the cost of production is often less, which gives them a competitive advantage.”

The report generated by the commission will be presented to parliament in due course by the Department for International Trade.

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