In light of the recent news of a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, has issued the following statement:
“Broadly, I welcome the possibility of a mutually-beneficial trade deal between our two nations but it has to be the right one that recognises that whilst we have so much in common with our friends in Australia, our economies are different and any trade deal should reflect that. For example, when it comes to livestock farms the costs of production are much lower in Australia and they have very different animal husbandry methods to us; I say this as someone who has worked as a vet on farms both in the UK and Australia. It is vital that we have a thriving UK food production industry that is not undercut by imports. I share the concerns of farmers in Cumbria and the UK about the deal and we need to evaluate it fully when it is published. I am pleased the Government has listened to my call for tariff rate quotas to be used as a safeguard for the UK agricultural sector. I continue to call for urgent meaningful parliamentary scrutiny of the trade deal and for the Trade and Agriculture Commission to be reconstituted immediately.
I will stand up our farmers and our high animal welfare standards and will continue to fight for them in Parliament.”