York’s Conservative MP votes against the government over food standards

Julian Sturdy in the Commons. Photograph: Screengrab
13 Oct 2020 @ 1.04 pm
| Politics

Conservative MP Julian Sturdy voted against the government to try to protect UK food standards.

During a debate on the Agriculture Bill last night (Monday), the York Outer MP spoke and voted against the government, demanding stronger guarantees on the post-Brexit protection of UK food standards against lower-grade imports.

The bill creates the first independent UK farming and environmental policy for 47 years, following our departure from the European Union.

A House of Lords amendment aimed to ensure products imported into the UK could not be made to lower standards than those expected of British food producers.

Mr Sturdy said the government was elected on a commitment to ensure future trade agreements do not compromise Britain’s world-leading food standards.

He joined 13 other Conservative MPs in voting against the government and for retaining the amendment.

However, he supported the government’s updates to the rest of the bill.

Mr Sturdy said: “Although the amendment was defeated, as it was when we made a similar stand in May at the Bill’s Commons Report Stage, I hope the continued resistance on clear legal guarantees for UK food standards by me and Conservative colleagues should embolden the House of Lords to again insist on tougher protections, which the government will have to respond to in the House of Commons again.

“I will certainly continue to press the government to make good on their commitments on food standards on behalf of my constituents, and North Yorkshire’s important farming sector and environmental assets.”