Full list of MPs who voted to lower our food standards during the Covid pandemic

Under cover of the Coronavirus pandemic and headlines over the Government’s handling of the crisis which has seen Britain suffer more deaths than any other European country, another major public health story has slipped through barely noticed.

The most important farming legislation in generations passed its third reading in parliament despite warnings that in a bid to make the UK market pliable for a post-Brexit US trade deal, protections of minimum food safety standards have evaporated, as have safeguards for Britain’s farmers.

With most MPs still socially distanced at home, MPs passed the legislation’s third reading in a virtual vote – 360 – 211. A full list of how they voted in this crucial legislation is below.

As the bill moves to the Lords for a second reading amid outrage from UK farmers, this weekend former Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson expressed his disbelief that all eight DUP MPs had voted with Conservative colleagues for a bill he said has “the potential to be the last nail in the coffin for agriculture in Northern Ireland.”

He warned: “the Bill opens the flood gates to cheap food imports into the UK from around the world. This food will not have been produced to the same standards achieved consistently by farmers in Northern Ireland. These imports will serve to drive markets down at a time when local farmers are under tremendous pressure.”

It was sadly predictable to see Conservative and DUP MPs falling into line, despite previous concerns expressed by those very MPs that have rural constituencies or knowledge of foods and farming, or indeed Northern Ireland – where the farming industry now has big concerns with Boris Johnson’s promises of no border checks and alignment with the rest of the UK rather than Europe evaporating daily.

Just ONE Tory MP rebelled: Helen Grant, Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald. Not one Labour, Lib Dem or SNP MP voted for the bill.

Leaving the EU means the UK is also leaving the common agricultural policy, which currently funds UK agriculture to the tune of £3.5bn a year. The Agriculture Bill provides the legislative framework for replacement agricultural support schemes. It is now heading to the House of Lords and on target to pass through parliament by the summer.

Crucially, amendments to protect our food and farmers were defeated and left off the first Agriculture Bill in over 40 years.

Animal welfare fears

Farmers, environmentalists and consumer groups united to beg the Government to honour its manifesto pledge not to undermine food standards and the future of British farming with low-quality imports in post-Brexit trade deals. They warned that without guidelines on food quality, Britain would be flooded by cheap produce from foreign countries where meats are allowed to be pumped full of drugs and animal welfare is much lower than EU standards. British farmers would not be able to compete in price and if they lowered standards too below EU standards, they would lose their main market in Europe and face a catastrophe either way.

“This isn’t hysteria. This isn’t mumbo jumbo.” NFU President @Minette_Batters highlights real differences between food production in the UK and other countries 👇 #NFU20 pic.twitter.com/hztpGsOZ6L

— National Farmers’ Union (@NFUtweets) February 25, 2020

“Our trade policy must reflect our moral responsibilities to the planet and the people and creatures that live on it – protecting our natural environment, caring for our farmed animals, and working toward a more sustainable, climate-friendly way of farming and food production,” said the National Farming Union’s president Minette Batters. “We have the chance to become a global leader in climate-friendly farming, and neither farmers nor the public want to see that ambition fall by the wayside because our trade policy does not hold food imports to the same standards as are expected of our own farmers.”

Measures to protect food standards defeated

Rebel Conservative and Labour amendments to hold the Government to previous promises to protect British food and farming were also defeated. Senior Conservatives Simon Hoare and Neil Parish led the push for the Agriculture Bill, which sets out new policy as the UK quits the EU-wide Common Agricultural Policy, to require a level playing field between British farmers and those overseas in future trade agreements.

Their amendment was defeated by 277 votes to 328, a majority of 51, although Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing said some MPs had mistakenly voted the wrong way via the new electronic system – but she added this would not have affected the result. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak later insisted he had voted for the rebel amendment by mistake. 183 Labour MPs, 44 SNP MPs and 11 Liberal Democrats, as well as Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, voted in favour of the rebel amendment. Only 22 Conservatives voted for the defeated amendment, including former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers.

Chlorinated chicken and hormone-filled beef

Environment Secretary George Eustice refused to rule out chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef being imported from the US in a post-Brexit trade deal and he voted against his own 2019 proposals to protect the UK’s high animal welfare and food hygiene standards by banning the sale of lower standard foods such as chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-injected beef when it was again tabled as a Labour amendment to the Agriculture Bill.

Labour’s shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard said the Tories are now “tying themselves in knots to get a damaging trade deal with Donald Trump whatever the cost. This government is in chaos.

“Labour used the exact same text put forward by the Secretary of State when he was a backbencher, that would have protected our food standards. Now he and the Tories have voted it down.”

Brexit-championing Conservative former trade secretary Liam Fox warned the US “would walk” in free trade talks if an amendment calling for food imports to match the UK’s “high standards” were to become law in the UK. But there are now major concerns about the future of British farming.

The party that is meant to be the party of the countryside voted against all amendments to provide security for UK farming standards. In another worry for Britain’s ability to feed itself (the UK currently is only capable of producing 58 per cent of its food), another amendment to require a the production of a “coronavirus emergency food plan” addressing and assessing matters including hunger, malnutrition and food poverty as well as cost, availability, safety and supply chain resilience was also defeated by the Government.

Full list of MPs who voted for the Agriculture Bill in the Third Reading:

Nigel Adams Conservative

Bim Afolami Conservative

Adam Afriyie Conservative

Nickie Aiken Conservative

Peter Aldous Conservative

Lucy Allan Conservative

Stuart Anderson Conservative

Lee Anderson Conservative

Stuart Andrew Conservative

Caroline Ansell Conservative

Edward Argar Conservative

Sarah Atherton Conservative

Victoria Atkins Conservative

Gareth Bacon Conservative

Richard Bacon Conservative

Kemi Badenoch Conservative

Shaun Bailey Conservative

Duncan Baker Conservative

Steven Baker Conservative

Harriett Baldwin Conservative

Steve Barclay Conservative

John Baron Conservative

Simon Baynes Conservative

Aaron Bell Conservative

Scott Benton Conservative

Paul Beresford Conservative

Jake Berry Conservative

Saqib Bhatti Conservative

Bob Blackman Conservative

Crispin Blunt Conservative

Peter Bone Conservative

Andrew Bowie Conservative

Karen Bradley Conservative

Ben Bradley Conservative

Graham Brady Conservative

Suella Braverman Conservative

Jack Brereton Conservative

Andrew Bridgen Conservative

Steve Brine Conservative

Paul Bristow Conservative

Sara Britcliffe Conservative

James Brokenshire Conservative

Anthony Browne Conservative

Fiona Bruce Conservative

Felicity Buchan Conservative

Robert Buckland Conservative

Alex Burghart Conservative

Rob Butler Conservative

Alun Cairns Conservative

Gregory Campbell DUP

Andy Carter Conservative

James Cartlidge Conservative

Bill Cash Conservative

Miriam Cates Conservative

Maria Caulfield Conservative

Alex Chalk Conservative

Rehman Chishti Conservative

Christopher Chope Conservative

Jo Churchill Conservative

Greg Clark Conservative

Simon Clarke Conservative

Theo Clarke Conservative

Brendan Clarke-Smith Conservative

Chris Clarkson Conservative

James Cleverly Conservative

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative

Therese Coffey Conservative

Elliot Colburn Conservative

Damian Collins Conservative

Alberto Costa Conservative

Robert Courts Conservative

Claire Coutinho Conservative

Geoffrey Cox Conservative

Stephen Crabb Conservative

Virginia Crosbie Conservative

Tracey Crouch Conservative

James Daly Conservative

David Davies Conservative

Mims Davies Conservative

James Davies Conservative

Philip Davies Conservative

Gareth Davies Conservative

David Davis Conservative

Dehenna Davison Conservative

Caroline Dinenage Conservative

Sarah Dines Conservative

Jonathan Djanogly Conservative

Leo Docherty Conservative

Jeffrey M. Donaldson DUP

Michelle Donelan Conservative

Nadine Dorries Conservative

Steve Double Conservative

Oliver Dowden Conservative

Jackie Doyle-Price Conservative

Richard Drax Conservative

Flick Drummond Conservative

James Duddridge Conservative

David Duguid Conservative

Iain Duncan Smith Conservative

Philip Dunne Conservative

Mark Eastwood Conservative

Ruth Edwards Conservative

Michael Ellis Conservative

Tobias Ellwood Conservative

Natalie Elphicke Conservative

George Eustice Conservative

Luke Evans Conservative

David Evennett Conservative

Ben Everitt Conservative

Michael Fabricant Conservative

Laura Farris Conservative

Simon Fell Conservative

Nicholas Fletcher Conservative

Katherine Fletcher Conservative

Mark Fletcher Conservative

Vicky Ford Conservative

Kevin Foster Conservative

Liam Fox Conservative

Mark Francois Conservative

Lucy Frazer Conservative

George Freeman Conservative

Mike Freer Conservative

Richard Fuller Conservative

Marcus Fysh Conservative

Roger Gale Conservative

Mark Garnier Conservative

Nusrat Ghani Conservative

Nick Gibb Conservative

Peter Gibson Conservative

Jo Gideon Conservative

Dame Cheryl Gillan Conservative

Paul Girvan DUP

John Glen Conservative

Robert Goodwill Conservative

Michael Gove Conservative

James Gray Conservative

Chris Grayling Conservative

Chris Green Conservative

Damian Green Conservative

Andrew Griffith Conservative

Kate Griffiths Conservative

James Grundy Conservative

Jonathan Gullis Conservative

Robert Halfon Conservative

Luke Hall Conservative

Stephen Hammond Conservative

Greg Hands Conservative

Mark Harper Conservative

Rebecca Harris Conservative

Trudy Harrison Conservative

Sally-Ann Hart Conservative

Simon Hart Conservative

John Hayes Conservative

Oliver Heald Conservative

James Heappey Conservative

Chris Heaton-Harris Conservative

Gordon Henderson Conservative

Darren Henry Conservative

Antony Higginbotham Conservative

Damian Hinds Conservative

Simon Hoare Conservative

Kevin Hollinrake Conservative

Philip Hollobone Conservative

Adam Holloway Conservative

Paul Holmes Conservative

John Howell Conservative

Paul Howell Conservative

Nigel Huddleston Conservative

Neil Hudson Conservative

Eddie Hughes Conservative

Tom Hunt Conservative

Jane Hunt Conservative

Jeremy Hunt Conservative

Alister Jack Conservative

Sajid Javid Conservative

Ranil Jayawardena Conservative

Bernard Jenkin Conservative

Mark Jenkinson Conservative

Andrea Jenkyns Conservative

Dr Caroline Johnson Conservative

Gareth Johnson Conservative

David Johnston Conservative

Marcus Jones Conservative

David Jones Conservative

Fay Jones Conservative

Andrew Jones Conservative

Simon Jupp Conservative

Daniel Kawczynski Conservative

Alicia Kearns Conservative

Gillian Keegan Conservative

Imran Ahmad Khan Conservative

Greg Knight Conservative

Julian Knight Conservative

Danny Kruger Conservative

Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative

John Lamont Conservative

Robert Largan Conservative

Pauline Latham Conservative

Andrea Leadsom Conservative

Edward Leigh Conservative

Ian Levy Conservative

Andrew Lewer Conservative

Julian Lewis Conservative

Brandon Lewis Conservative

Ian Liddell-Grainger Conservative

Carla Lockhart DUP

Chris Loder Conservative

Mark Logan Conservative

Marco Longhi Conservative

Julia Lopez Conservative

Jack Lopresti Conservative

Jonathan Lord Conservative

Tim Loughton Conservative

Craig Mackinlay Conservative

Cherilyn Mackrory Conservative

Rachel Maclean Conservative

Alan Mak Conservative

Kit Malthouse Conservative

Anthony Mangnall Conservative

Scott Mann Conservative

Julie Marson Conservative

Theresa May Conservative

Jerome Mayhew Conservative

Paul Maynard Conservative

Karl McCartney Conservative

Jason McCartney Conservative

Stephen McPartland Conservative

Esther McVey Conservative

Mark Menzies Conservative

Johnny Mercer Conservative

Huw Merriman Conservative

Stephen Metcalfe Conservative

Robin Millar Conservative

Maria Miller Conservative

Amanda Milling Conservative

Nigel Mills Conservative

Andrew Mitchell Conservative

Gagan Mohindra Conservative

Robbie Moore Conservative

Damien Moore Conservative

Penny Mordaunt Conservative

David Morris Conservative

Anne Marie Morris Conservative

James Morris Conservative

Joy Morrissey Conservative

Wendy Morton Conservative

Kieran Mullan Conservative

Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative

David Mundell Conservative

Sheryll Murray Conservative

Andrew Murrison Conservative

Bob Neill Conservative

Lia Nici Conservative

Caroline Nokes Conservative

Jesse Norman Conservative

Neil O’Brien Conservative

Matthew Offord Conservative

Guy Opperman Conservative

Ian Paisley Jnr DUP

Neil Parish Conservative

Priti Patel Conservative

Owen Paterson Conservative

Mark Pawsey Conservative

Mike Penning Conservative

John Penrose Conservative

Andrew Percy Conservative

Chris Philp Conservative

Christopher Pincher Conservative

Daniel Poulter Conservative

Rebecca Pow Conservative

Victoria Prentis Conservative

Mark Pritchard Conservative

Tom Pursglove Conservative

Jeremy Quin Conservative

Will Quince Conservative

Dominic Raab Conservative

Tom Randall Conservative

John Redwood Conservative

Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative

Nicola Richards Conservative

Angela Richardson Conservative

Rob Roberts Conservative

Laurence Robertson Conservative

Mary Robinson Conservative

Gavin Robinson DUP

Andrew Rosindell Conservative

Douglas Ross Conservative

Lee Rowley Conservative

Dean Russell Conservative

David Rutley Conservative

Gary Sambrook Conservative

Selaine Saxby Conservative

Paul Scully Conservative

Bob Seely Conservative

Andrew Selous Conservative

Jim Shannon DUP

Grant Shapps Conservative

Alok Sharma Conservative

Alec Shelbrooke Conservative

David Simmonds Conservative

Chris Skidmore Conservative

Chloe Smith Conservative

Royston Smith Conservative

Julian Smith Conservative

Henry Smith Conservative

Greg Smith Conservative

Amanda Solloway Conservative

Ben Spencer Conservative

Mark Spencer Conservative

Alexander Stafford Conservative

Andrew Stephenson Conservative

Jane Stevenson Conservative

John Stevenson Conservative

Iain Stewart Conservative

Bob Stewart Conservative

Gary Streeter Conservative

Mel Stride Conservative

Graham Stuart Conservative

Julian Sturdy Conservative

Rishi Sunak Conservative

James Sunderland Conservative

Desmond Swayne Conservative

Robert Syms Conservative

Derek Thomas Conservative

Maggie Throup Conservative

Edward Timpson Conservative

Kelly Tolhurst Conservative

Justin Tomlinson Conservative

Michael Tomlinson Conservative

Craig Tracey Conservative

Anne-Marie Trevelyan Conservative

Laura Trott Conservative

Elizabeth Truss Conservative

Thomas Tugendhat Conservative

Shailesh Vara Conservative

Martin Vickers Conservative

Matt Vickers Conservative

Theresa Villiers Conservative

Christian Wakeford Conservative

Charles Walker Conservative

Robin Walker Conservative

Ben Wallace Conservative

Jamie Wallis Conservative

David Warburton Conservative

Matt Warman Conservative

Giles Watling Conservative

Suzanne Webb Conservative

Helen Whately Conservative

Heather Wheeler Conservative

Craig Whittaker Conservative

John Whittingdale Conservative

Bill Wiggin Conservative

James Wild Conservative

Craig Williams Conservative

Gavin Williamson Conservative

Sammy Wilson DUP

Mike Wood Conservative

Jeremy Wright Conservative

Jacob Young Conservative

Nadhim Zahawi Conservative


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The post Full list of MPs who voted to lower our food standards during the Covid pandemic appeared first on The London Economic.

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