Dr Neil Hudson MP chaired an Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee evidence session scrutinising the UK's Free Trade agreements, ongoing FTA negotiations and recent accession to the CPTPP.
The session was triggered by a host of recently completed and ongoing trade talks - including the UK's accession to the CPTPP and negotiations with Canada, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council. And, Dr Hudson heard from a range of academics and sector specialists on the long-term strategic opportunities and threats to the agriculture industry may be.
This session forms part of an ongoing Inquiry into UK Trade Policy: Food and Agriculture which is interrogating the UK's post-Brexit capacity to form new trade associations with other countries and trading blocs - and the implications for British producers. You can read more about the Inquiry here.
Food security has been brought into sharp relief recently with disruption to Red Sea shipping channels, the war in Ukraine and extreme weather events, both at home and abroad. As such, Dr Hudson was keen to probe the UK's resilience when it comes to supply chain management, the diversification of supply chains and domestic production.
Dr Hudson was keen to probe the impact tariff-rate quotas might have on the domestic agriculture industry. The mechanism would allow Government to better regulate imports, thus making sure we prioritise British producers and thus secure the nation's supply of high-quality and nutritious food against any international instability. Many farmers have indeed expressed concern that FTAs with larger nations with lower production standards may undercut home-grown food.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
"I'm determined the UK can grasp the full potential of its reinvigorated trading powers.
"But in order to reinforce the efficacy of these trade deals, and instigate a buoyant long-term trading strategy, it is critical we provide supportive scrutiny in these early stages. Having championed food security in Parliament for many years now, I hope to make sure new deals back our brilliant British farmers - empowering domestic production and promoting our high standards across the globe."
The Committee will continue its inquiry, and publish a report including several recommendations for Government. The Government is then required to respond and
You can watch the full session here.
- Professor Christopher Dent, Professor of Economics and International Business, Edge Hill University
- Professor Fiona Smith, Professor of International Economic Law and Associate Director for Agrifood Supply Chains, University of Leeds
- Shanker Singham, CEO of Competere and Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs
- Shubhi Mishra, Head of Food, Drink and Trade Promotion, UK India Business Council (*will be giving evidence remotely*)
- Nick von Westenholz, Director of Trade and Business Strategy, National Farmers Union (NFU)
- Helen Dallimore, International Sales Manager, Coombe Castle
- Sarah Baker, Head of Economics at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)