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MP urges Government to protect Cumbrian farmers in future trade deals

March 14, 2019 1:56 PM

Tim during International Trade QuestionsOn the floor of the House of Commons this morning, South Lakes MP Tim Farron asked the Government how they intend to protect local farmers from 'opportunistic protectionism' in the event of a bad trade deal.

Speaking during International Trade Questions, Tim said: "During the BSE crisis of the 1990s and the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001 and the scare of 2007, even some members of the European Union took advantage of these crises to ban British meat imports, even long after any risk had expired.

"If we leave with a bad deal such as the one that Parliament has now rejected twice, countries won't need an excuse to act with opportunistic protectionism in that way.

"So how will we make sure that our farmers are protected in the deals that we strike going forward?"

In response the International Trade minister, George Hollingbery said that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) gives the UK "a great deal of protection" and that the Government feels that they will be "able to bring disputes if we feel that the WTO rules are being flouted inappropriately."

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "With the huge cloud of uncertainty that surrounds British farming, the last thing that we need is to end up with a bad trade deal where our farmers can be done over by foreign competitors.

"The Conservatives need to stop taking our farmers for granted."