Mel Stride MP has welcomed a decision from the Government to extend the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) and place it on a full statutory footing through the Trade Bill. The Commission was initially launched for a six-month period in July to bring together voices from across the agriculture sector and inform top-level trade policy and negotiations. The Government has now decided to extend the Commission and give it a more active role through a new legislative underpinning – a move supported by the National Farmers Union.
The TAC will produce a report on the impact on agriculture and animal welfare of each free trade deal the government signs after the end of the EU transition period on 1 January. This report will be laid out in Parliament by the Department for International Trade before the start of the 21-day scrutiny period of the free trade deal under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.
Mr Stride, who represents one of the most rural constituencies in England, including around half of Dartmoor, said:
“Giving our farmers a strong voice in each trade deal that the UK negotiates is a hugely significant moment for the industry. It will ensure that any concerns are heard loud and clear and will give the industry confidence that our high standards are not unfairly undercut. Crucially, the TAC will also report back on the impact of any deal on animal welfare – another important issue and one where the UK is a world-leader.”