Richard Lochhead MSP (pictured) has expressed his profound concern after Moray’s Conservative MP voted against an amendment tabled by an influential Conservative Party colleague to the Agriculture Bill that would have banned imports produced to lower food and animal welfare standards.
The amendment tabled by Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, was supported by opposition MPs and some Conservative MPs who have long called for food standards on imports to be maintained in order to protect Scotland’s farming and food industry which is a mainstay of the Moray economy.
Commenting Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“If there is one thing that our food producers and farmers can’t stomach, it’s the idea that their own Government could give the green light to an unlevel playing field and the prospect of a deal that allows imports that don’t have to meet the same high standards expected of producers in this country.
“It’s therefore hugely disappointing and a big worry that Moray’s Conservative MP voted against safeguarding his local farming and food sectors and that he didn’t support one of his own colleagues who wishes to protect the interests of Moray’s agricultural sector and food producers.
“Moray is one of the UK’s most productive food and drink regions, and the sector is a linchpin of the local economy.
“The UK Government has turned its back on the European Union and is now negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal and at the same time negotiations are now underway with Trump’s administration with the UK widely viewed as being in a weak position.
“UK Ministers must not sell out Moray and Scotland’s world leading food and drink industry.
“I have no doubt that folk in our farming community will be aghast at how their MP voted.”